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
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at 4:42 AM
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!