Saturday, November 21, 2009



This necklace has been dedicated to Jessica's struggle with Lyme Disease and RSD by Lymelinks Jewelry. It was made to honor her commitment to Lyme Disease Awareness. All proceeds from the sale of the necklace will go to Jessica's Journey Savings Club. It will be available starting at 8:00 PM on November 21st at: Jessica and the entire Stevens Family would like to thank Brian & Michelle Mah from Lymelinks, Cat Charles, Laci Corridor, and everyone else that made this necklace possible! May God bless you all!!!


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Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Gina

The necklace is lovely. Everytime we wear the necklace it to remind us of Jessica .

Keep moving forward and hold onto the hope that has brought you this far. We will continue to pray for you everyday.

Love paula, ray, ashley,kevin

Madelon said...

Good morning Jessica and Gina,
The necklace is absolutely beautiful and I have already sent the link to my boys as a suggestion for a Christmas gift!
Last night I went to Cafe Ablaze at the church. As I listened to the singers, Tommy Lee and then Cathy, all I could think of was you and your difficult journey. I found myself praying for a miracle for you, Jessica...for your pain to disappear or at least be lessened. I wish that somehow, you two could have been there to hear these beautiful songs.
My heart goes out to you, Gina. Although we did not have a close relationship when Jessica and Brian were in the same classes together, somehow I feel a closer bond to you as a mother suffering along with her child. My boys have never suffered the pain that Jessica is going through...but there have been tonsilectomies and Brian had an operation to have his eardrum repaired and I know how much I wanted to take their pain away. I will continue to pray for God's healing and to give you comfort and peace.
Sunday morning and off to church. You will be in my prayers.
God's blessings to you both,

Anonymous said...

Goodmorning To You Both!!!

I LOVE the necklace it's sooo beautiful!! I have just ordered one & will wear it proudly as I continue my prayers for you both.
May Gods love shine on you today!

Anonymous said...

I spoke to Michelle Mah last night. She and her husband Brian are creators of the necklace.

What a generous act of kindness.

I have never met them in person but they were so taken with Jessica's Journey that they wanted to help us out in some way.

What I have learned from Jessica's journey is that everyone, every single person has a story - some trial no matter how rich, prosperous or beautiful people are; we are all touched with problems or illness.

And, I believe God uses these situations to bring us closer to Him and to each other.

David Stevens

michelle is the very best said...

omg jess, i love the necklace i ordered it already cant wait to get it! love you!!!!


Regina said...

Gina and Jessica,

The necklace is stunning! We will wear it prayerfully for Jessica. She won't be far from our thoughts and our hearts. Please give a hug to her from family in NJ!


Daughter-in-Law Angela


Caring Friends

Madelon said...

Good morning(Monday) Jessica and Gina,
I pray that all is well in Mexico. It is the beginning of a new work week, and a short workweek...YAY and a new day! May today bring lots of sunshine and healing into your lives. God bless you both today and always.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Sarah,

I have tried to email you but it doesnt seem to go through. I read your blog everyday which helps me stay in touch with the hospital and what is going on. I think of you often and hope that soon Jessica and Justin will be doing much better. I am glad you have each other there.

Joan (Justin's mom)

Jessica's Journey to Getting Her Life Back

By Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

As we begin this journey toward renewed health we would like to express our sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick and all the work he has done and continues to do in order to bring patients like my daughter Jessica back to a more meaningful life and restored from this devastating illness. Also, special thanks to Dr. Fernando Cantu and his team of doctors in Mexico for taking on a difficult case like my daughters, Words cannot express the renewed sense of hope that we have that one day, our Jessica, can regain her life that has been taken away from her – God Bless you all!

Jessica’s Story

Once an A+ student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, played varsity tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, our daughter Jessica has spent the last 3 years incapacitated, paralyzed, unable to sit or walk and eat. She spends her days confined to a hospital bed, wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, due to severe light and sound sensitivity.

Jessica and her sisters, 2 mos. before becoming ill

The pain she feels is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving her suffering.

She has seen many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed various medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. She is severely debilitated and currently is only 92 pounds. This is certainly no life for a 21 year old young woman!

Jessica is suffering from neurologic Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severely debilitating and painful neuromuscular disorder. She suffers daily with constant sharp, stabbing, tingling and burning pain; throughout her body; severe headaches; paralysis; intense muscle spasms; gastroparesis; seizures; twisting of her limbs (dystonia); sensitivity to any touch (allodynia); extreme sensitivity to lights and sounds; excessive sweating; swelling; fevers; softening of bones; decreased hair growth; redness and discoloration of the limbs; and painful skin ulcers. The pain is constant and unrelenting, but despite her suffering, her faith in God remains and she still has hope for her future.

Jessica's painful skin lesions

Jessica's journey began in 1999, when she was only 11 years old. She became very ill with Mono and was bed bound for 3 months. She subsequently developed RSD (stage 1) of the lower right leg. She received early intervention and returned to playing sports and enjoying her life.

Jessica, age 15, at summer camp

Four years later, in 2003, while away at a sleep-away camp, she developed a rash behind her right knee, coincidentally in the same leg that previously had RSD!

At the time, the camps nurse & doctor told her that it was “duck rash” – a rash from swimming in the lake with duck feces. However, Jessica was able to obtain photos from camp from another camper which shows the classic “bulls-eye” rash from Lyme disease! It wasn’t until much later and only after developing symptoms and becoming very ill, was the diagnosis of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (another tick-borne infection) made.

Most people (and doctors!) have no idea how serious Lyme disease can become and no clue how to properly diagnose it. Unfortunately, if she would have been promptly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, the RSD would not have been triggered and she would not be suffering.

July 2003, Jessica's Lyme disease rash

If it wasn’t for her doctor, Dr. Liegner, and his expertise with complex cases of Lyme, and his determination to try any means in getting her well, by getting a “team” of doctors on her case, we wouldn’t be here today, still fighting. We owe him a deep sense of gratitude for all he does for Jessica!

During these past three years and with the pain becoming more intense and unbearable she has been seeing Dr. Finkelstein for pain management. He has even made house calls to spare her the pain of coming by ambulance to his office. Jessica has been treated with multiple pain medications, at the highest possible doses, as well as an implanted dilaudid pain pump, which delivers potent medication straight into her spine. Many doctors have told us that with the amount of medications Jessica was taking would be enough to “kill a horse”—yet they had little to no effect on her. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finkelstein trying to alleviate her constant, severe, unrelenting pain, I don’t know how she would have managed. He is very special to us as well.

Recently Jessica was transported by air ambulance to Tampa, Florida to see Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Kirkpatrick told us that Jessica is one of the most debilitated patients he has ever seen.

Jessica getting into the air-ambulance to go see Dr. Kirkpatrick

Upon his testing and because Jessica's condition is so severe, Dr. Kirkpatrick is recommending the only treatment available that can possibly help relieve her suffering, and afford her some semblance of a “normal” life - the Ketamine Coma Procedure - a clinical trial that is being conducted in Monterrey, Mexico.

During this procedure Jessica will be put into a coma , with the hope that her nerves, brain and spinal cord will “reset” -so that her nervous system sends the correct signals to her brain.

Yes, this is a radical, scary treatment, however, for Jessica, "scary" is thinking that she could spend the rest of her life in this condition, unable to walk, eat, or take care of herself. Since all reasonable treatments have failed to help her, we feel we must try everything possible to help Jessica regain her life.

We understand that due to Jessica’s fragile condition, there is a high risk associated with this procedure. We are also aware that other patients with severe RSD like Jessica's have had success.

Jessica’s goal is to one day become a doctor. Our hope is that with this study she can have that chance. As her Mom, I know that she will be a great doctor because when a patient presents in her office and says “Doctor, I am in pain and words cannot express how bad it is” – my daughter –Dr. Jessica– will be able to say - :I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. So, take a seat and let me tell you a story”….

We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have been led to Dr. Kirkpatrick.

God is good and with his help guiding Dr. Cantu and Dr. Kirkpatrick, our hope is for Jessica to be able to return to us whole again and pain-free!