Monday, December 7, 2009

""The Christmas Package""

This necklace is dedicated to Jessica's struggle with Lyme Disease and RSD. It was made to honor her commitment to Lyme disease awareness by Lymelinks.

To order Jessica's necklace, Click on NEW Link Below:

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

Special thanks go out to two special visitors that came to see Jessica yesterday. Our dear Dr. Rainbow had told them about Jessica and they came to offer special prayers for her and for her healing! We were honored to have Sister Damiana and Sister Juana Teresa from "The Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ" pray with us! I can honestly say that I felt the spirit of the Lord present in the room yesterday! Thank you again for all your love and prayers and may God watch over your journey to the states in the coming weeks - have a blessed Christmas!

Blessings To All,

"The Christmas Package"

I remember the first few weeks we were here at the Hospital San Jose Tec. It was after Jessica had just come out of the coma and didn't even know who she was or who I was - she had lost her memory! Those three weeks without her memory were tough! I was so distraught; it was a very difficult time! I remember Dr. Cantu (aka Dr. "Green Shirt") trying to reassure me, as only he can, that her memory would come back eventually, but that Jessica's "road to recovery" would be long and hard. That due to the complexity and severity of her illness, and her being one of the most debilitated cases they had seen, that the hope would be, barring any setbacks, to "unwrap" and open a beautiful "Christmas package" with Jessica. That it could take that long but that it could happen!

Let me tell you a story about Jessica and her 1st Christmas and her "unwrapping" her presents:

I remember the first Christmas we celebrated with Jessica - December 1988. As she was our firstborn, it was our first as parents and Jessica was only 11 months old. We had carefully wrapped and put all of her presents under the tree in our very first home on Huntington Road. Since it was her first Christmas and we were so excited, we may have gotten a little carried away - she had 10 presents under the tree! We had waited over 5 years for God to bless us with Jessica and I think we were more excited than her that Christmas morning!

I will never forget her face that morning when she saw the tree and all the boxes underneath it. She didn't know what to do first - so - she ran - or should I say "waddled" all the way over to the tree. We sat her down in front of the tree, got the camera ready, and proceeded to see what she would do next! I remember thinking to myself as she carefully "unwrapped" her presents - Which one would be her favorite??? Would she like the little baby doll that I had chosen for her, or would she like the Little Tykes train set her Dad had picked out for her?

To our shock and amazement, it was neither! You see, she was more interested in the boxes and the "unwrapping" of them all! She didn't care what was inside the packages, only how to get them unwrapped. I remember saying to my husband David that we could have saved a lot of money and just wrapped empty boxes and she would have been just as happy!

So, while we are here in Monterrey, that is what she and the doctors are doing as well! Just as Dr. Cantu had said in the very beginning, the hope is to carefully "unwrap" the present, piece by piece, and eventually open the new "package", one that will hopefully be "empty" or free of pain and sickness - a new Jessica, a new "unwrapped" Christmas package"!!!

Please pray for Jessica today and the struggles that continue from yesterday. Pray for the eyes, the pain, intestinal problems, headaches, and the continued improvements. Pray for these "pieces" of her illnesses to continue to be "unwrapped" or torn away and for a beautiful new Christmas package to unfold!!!

In God's love,
and in anticipation,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

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


Nancy said...

Good morning ladies of Room 845, our amazing friends of our extended family!!

It is wonderful that your entire family will be together for Christmas! As we all eat our meals together your family and the healing and miracles unfolding will be foremost in our prayers and thanks!

Thank you Dear Lord for all the wonderful support and love that Dr. Rainbow has brought to Jessica and Sarah Gina. She has laid these marvelous servants at your feet like a wonderful offering, a blessing, a Christmas Gift of hope and healing. Little Messangers to God's listening ears that Dr. R just keep coming up with! She is full of such wonderful suprises, like little packages!

You words soothe the heart Sarah Gina and calm the storm. You are a blessing to all you know and it's wonderful how everyday you come up with a scripture that brings your story directly from the Bible!

May today be the best progress yet... and most relief to Sweet Jessica since arriving in Mexico.

Update! Holiday Bazaar Team Jessica Style..lead by Lisa Reber, was a terrific event. The necklace was such a HIT...many orders will be placed from the gals yesterday. They love it!
The goodies each vendor offered was perfect for holiday giving. THEN the a couple Pin Up Boys of the North Naples Fire Dept 2010 Calendar showed up and there's a gift I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall! (Don't tell Joe) Thanks guys and gals!! Such wonderful people and even Jerry Sanford, retired Fire Fighter made a visit. He has plans!!! Stay tuned! Thank you everyone who came and enjoyed this day of love. Details will follow too.

Blessings on you!
Nanc & Joe
PS: Joe reads this everyday too, so forget the don't tell Joe part. I'm busted!!!

Anonymous said...

Your story of the first Christmas for Jessica reminded me of my first Christmas with my new son. He was only 5 months old and we had purchased only a few things. Like Jessica, he was only interested in unwrapping the gifts! We had so much fun watching this that when he was all done, I went in the back and re-wrapped them all again and gave them back. To him, it was like a new surprise! He joyfully attacked the gifts. Who knows if he was expecting something else? :)
It seemed to me that the joy was in the unwrapping rather than the gift itself.

For all of us who have been through this coma trial, we have come into it with hopes, dreams, desires, and of course conviction! Those are the gifts. They are all wrapped in different packages - our bodies- and God has presented them to us for the unwrapping.
For many years, as my children have grown older and more able to enjoy the process, they would delight in finding many boxes and reams of wrapping paper. They would wrap the treasure so elaborately that a small gift inside looks enormous under the tree! It could take a very long time to unwrap each layer and empty each new box as the receiver worked their way down to the ultimate gift. The giver receiving just as much joy in the watching and the anticipation as the receiver. I see this for Jessica. There are just a lot of layers and a lot of boxes to be unwrapped in between. Inside each new layer comes a bonus gift of wisdom, endurance, patience, promises, and love. Without those bonus gifts the ultimate gift could not be received. For those on the sidelines watching this unfold, there is a joy in the expectation and surprises along the way.

It is my fervent prayer that you get to the smaller box really really soon. In the meantime, you have the opportunity to experience all the extra bonus gifts that come along for the ride- like good doctors, supportive friends and family, prayer warriors, etc. If it weren't for the struggle, you would not be blessed with such gifts. I feel that way for myself and hope that today you feel it intensely as well.

Hope the procedure went well yesterday and that today is an easier day.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful analogy!

I bet when your husband and daughters arrive, they will look at Jessica and will be able to see a partially unwrapped gift!

May you continue to feel His presence and His love everyday!

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful analogy!

I bet when your husband and daughters arrive, they will look at Jessica and will be able to see a partially unwrapped gift!

May you continue to feel His presence and His love everyday!

With love & prayers,
The Turners

katherine<3 said...

hey mom,

i loved the post today, i remember watching old home videos with michelle over the summer and in one of them you actually little jessica waddling over to the christmas and being so excited about the wrapping...see, unlike me and michelle, jessica was always the smarter and more intrigued baby..she definitley thought things more for sure (cause i know that when i was a baby i couldnt even undo the wrapping!)haha

i want you to tell jessica that the best christmas present that i ever got was her being my big sister (even though wed always fight about who got the better presents haha)

i love you both very much!!

p.s.--mom, youre writing has become amazing, you may actually be better than daddy now..but we wont tell him that! haha

Anonymous said...

Jessica and Gina, I'm so happy that David and the girls are going to be with you for Christmas. It will be wonderful and the best package to be opened is Jessica's continued recovery. No matter how slow, it is still a miracle and no matter how long the road, you will travel it with hope and faith in God. Enjoy your family "reunion" I'm sure it will be special. Love, Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Greetings to you Gina and Jessica-
I am glad that you will be able to enjoy Christmas with your family.
Gina-Your perseverance and faith are blessings to Jessica and the rest of your family and a true demonstration that love is an action- not a feeling.
I join with many others in praying that the ketamine treatment will bring relief to Jessica and reverse the course you all have been on for the past few years.
Blessings to you all-
Laura Bauer

Anonymous said...

I am praying for a Christmas Miracle :) Your writing is truly inspirational! God Bless You, Crystal

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

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!