This picture was taken by Jessica the Christmas before she became ill. She is in the middle holding the camera in front of her - with her sisters Katherine (left), and Michelle (right) and of course, Molly (her #1 dog)!!!
To order Jessica's necklace, Click on NEW Link Below:
To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:
Christmas Blessings to All,
This time of the year has always been my favorite. Not only for the religious significance of the birth of Christ with all of its magnificence and splendor, but also for the traditions of the Christmas season that have been passed down from generation to generation! From putting up the Christmas tree with all the special ornaments you have collected from all the places you have visited or the special ones you have chosen for each child to commemorate the milestones or events of their lives; to carefully putting on display that treasured nativity set and remembering to cover the baby Jesus until Christmas because "he hasn't been born yet"!?! For me, growing up in an Italian family, the holiday has always been about family, traditions, and let's not forget - food - and - alot of it!!!
It is this special time of the year that we remember Christmases past and all of the memories associated with them. In remembering those times it is sometimes hard not to look back and yearn for those happier or easier times. But, if you are a Christian, and you do believe in the "majesty" or "magic" that is Christmas, you realize first and foremost that this is the time of the year that we commemorate his birth and also his "rebirth" in our lives.
It is with this hope, this faith, that we remember to keep "Christ" in Christmas and we remember this one important thing, - that isn't faith believing that all power cannot be seen? It is with this "faith" that we have, in Jesus and his birth, that propels us forward to a new day, full of all things seen and unseen, all powers known and unknown, all dreams real and unreal! May you all find the majesty and beauty and renewal of Christmas this year and always!
UPDATE ON JESSICA:
Jessica has been having a rough patch of days these past two weeks. For her, the daily struggles can be difficult, and then if other issues or problems are added, it can sometimes become too much. Yesterday she had to be brought down again to put in another central catheter to replace the other one that wasn't functioning properly. The fevers are gone and so far the tests are negative for infection, but we are waiting on the cultures. Please pray for better days for her. Pray for her eyes and for the brain to "clear away" the static vision that has been plaguing her these past three months. As I said above, our hope comes from our faith in the knowledge of the power of Jesus and his birth and the power of the renewal of that faith that is always so "real" during this special time of the year!!!
In hope and faith,
(Jessica, Katherine & Michelle's Mom)
"So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God". Ephesians 3:17-19
***To post a comment, CLICK on Comments below***
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!