Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in Monterrey, Mexico!

Hola from Mexico,

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration yesterday. Our family arrived and Jessica was happy to see her Dad and her sisters Katherine and Michelle again! We hadn't seen them in over 4 months and they were so excited to see the progress, the "small steps", that Jessica has made. My Michelle has grown even taller and prettier! She is now a teenager and has become a fine young lady, but she will always be my "baby"! My Katherine still has that infectious smile and bubbly personality that I love so much. She also exudes such a confidence about her and has that "mesmerizing look". When she walks into a room, everyone notices! David looks well and is holding up and managing as well as he can under the circumstances. He now realizes how much I did at home! He and the girls bought me a beautiful necklace with 3 hearts - one for each of my three girls! I will always remember where I got it when I wear it - it is very special!

As a family we all agreed that it was a very "special" Christmas for us! Even though it was spent in a hospital room in Mexico, we were all together again and that was all that mattered!

We would like to thank the following people from the Union Church in Monterrey for the lovely Christmas dinner they brought to us at the hospital. First, special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. O'Toole for the lovely dinner that consisted of smoked turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, scalloped potatoes, green beans, stuffing and rolls --- What a feast and so delicious! Also, special thanks to Mr. Romero for the delicious pecan and pumpkins pies and also to Pastor Long and his brother-in-law Wally & Bob, for bringing it over to the hospital! We loved everything and were so grateful to share the meal as well with the Brown family from Pennsylvania, who are here as well! Also, special thanks to Dr. Rainbow for the delicious wine to go with our meal!

Pray for Jessica today as she has been experiencing some fevers and still fighting an infection that she had while she was down in ICU. She is an amazing person - determined - a fighter; she will make it through to ultimately realize that hope and faith and prayer does conquer all!

In God's love,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*

***To post a comment, CLICK on Comments below***


Anonymous said...

Thinking and praying for Jessica and all of the family this Christmas. May God bless you all.

Brian, Michelle, Tristen, and Alicia

Anonymous said...

This year I spent a quiet Christmas traveling to Pennsylvania to be with Roger's sister, Marj. Her husband passed away in February 08. Since Karen is on Long Island with Mike's family and Barbara is with Bob's family(don't worry we celebrated Christmas together on the 20th) Roger and I decided Marj should not be alone.
But today we have the pleasure of going to NJ to Brad Daniels home where he will host for all the children and grandchildren of Marj and of course, the aunt and uncle(rog and me)
What a lucky person we are to spend time with our loved ones! Praying that families will find the love to forgive and be together
We are happy that you are together to celebrate this beautiful time of the year

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear that you had a good day and that you were all treated to some wonderful Mexican hospitality! God is so good to show us His love and favour through the hands and hearts of those he has created.

May you enjoy the next few days together as a family and treasure these all up in your heart, just as Mary and Joseph did that very first Christmas. Incidentally, that was not an easy Christmas either and yet so much good came out of it! (Just a thought) :)

Be well my friends. Miss you already. It was so very nice for Theo and I to be with friends again while we were down there. Made the stay that much easier.

Merry Christmas!

Jessica, fight those fevers and enjoy the time you have with your whole family! God is moving mountains in your department, we are watching from the side lines and in awe of His amazing power.

- Fern & Theo

Anonymous said...

We are sending our prayers to Jessica and your whole family. Glad to hear that you are all together. That is what is most important anyhow. Thank you for sharing your journey. It has our family thinking about the ketamine study.


Anonymous said...

"Oh little town of Monterrey.....", it's on our lips as we thank God for all the blessings you have received as a family and will continue to receive!

When you hear the song, "We are Family..." it creates a bridge across the earth to all corners filled with love and prayers for all of God's Children!! Fight that fever sweet Jessica as more Miracles are awaiting you!!

With love from the: Sustersic/Nimmo/Nichol/Buckingham Families!!! XOXO to all!!

Michelle said...

im in jessicas room. Love you Jess<333 and mom.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, Sarah Gina & family,
Happy Holidays! I have been following your blog since you went to Mexico. And I have to say this is the best post yet. What miraculous news. I am so happy for you and your family. It is truly a Christmas miracle. Stay positive and keep moving small steps ahead. Lots of prayers and love from Florida. Tell Dr. Cantu and his team hello.

Suzie Hyatt- coma patient #5 Mexico

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!