Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jessica - Still in ICU

Hi to all,

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

Jessica is still in ICU. The doctors feel that the extra time down there will be to her benefit. The plan is for her to come up to the regular floor in a couple of days. Please pray for the four prayers that need to be answered for her. God is an awesome God and miracles do happen everyday here --- it's Jessica's turn for that miracle!

I would also like to especially thank Dr. Cantu and Dr. Rainbow for all the love and support they have given to me - not only this past week with Jessica in ICU, but during these past four months that we have been here. I could not have come this far without their comfort, strength and wisdom. They have both given me love - as if I am a part of their family! Words cannot express my feelings for them and all the doctors and nurses here as well.

Someone once wrote this and it is so true:

Never give up on the people you Love.
Love is so incredibly powerful.
To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world!!!

***Special thanks to a man named Jesus who helped me yesterday. He was walking behind me as I was bringing some bags up to our room and he offered his help to me. Yes, Jesus, helped me yesterday - and by the way - in talking with him - his birthday also happens to be on Dec. 24th! This man had an amazing story to tell - one that involves surviving a train wreck many years ago - and being in a hospital for one year! He is a living miracle --- and I thank God for putting him into my path yesterday!!! God does work in so many ways and has shown that to me so many times!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me". Matthew 25:40
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it". Hebrews 13:2

Pray for Jessica today,
All my Love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

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


Anonymous said...

Thank you Jesus, and thank you Sarah Gina for sharing that wonderful story with us. The Lord walks with us every step every day and we are his family!

Love and special prayers for Jessica are on our lips and in our hearts.

Rest little Jessica and be well!
Love Nancy

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how God chooses to reveal a word of comfort, a warm hug, a special message, etc. I believe that God sent you Jesus yesterday to remind you that He is there and watching over you all. What a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it!
I continue to pray for Jessica daily and am always glad that you are in a place where you and she are cared for and loved. What a special blessing the staff are and I wonder if they are fully aware that they are the hands and heart of God on a regular basis.
Be well my friend. Rest well Jessica and dream of better times!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, we are praying for Jessica with all our hearts and souls. To think that Jesus appeared out of nowhere to help you with your heavy burden. Sometimes it is the kindness of strangers that means so much.Other times it is the love and support of magical Dr. Cantu and Dr. Zavala. We are with you and Jessica in spirit.

Cathy and Devon

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Stevens,

Both Mom and I continue to pray for you and Jessica during these difficult times.

Sending you much love and prayers,

Lindsay Spengler

katherine said...

wow thankyou jesus! thats an incredible story, miracles do happen.

i love you both xoxox

Anonymous said...

Dearest Gina, I am praying for you and Jessica and your family always. I am not surprised that Jesus told you his story as the two of you were carrying your bags up to the room! You have always had an amazing gift for connecting with people on a deeper level. Jesus told you about what may be one of the most difficult trials of his life, a true story that gave you strength and hope, as a result of your making that deeper connection. That is a wonderful gift that you bring to the world, Gina. The fact that you are still sharing your gifts with others even at such a difficult time is a blessing to all of us. Those gifts include the writings in the blog! Your writing is beautiful and so heartfelt. Thank you for sharing Jessica's journey and your own with us on that deeper level. You reveal your love and appreciation of your daughter, your family, your friends, your doctors, the people who cross your path, even strangers, and especially our loving and healing God, who sustains us all. Hang in there, my friend. God loves you and so do we all. I will pray for Jessica and you today as always. Love always, Angel

Robyn Weiner said...

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you in Mexico. Your positive outlook on life amazes me and you are such an inspiration to everyone. As always, please send Jessica Garden City Middle School's love and support.

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for that Christmas Miracle! Love, Crystal

Marianne said...

Gina and Jessica, What a beautiful story! A hospice nurse once told me coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous. It was no accident that you met that man! I hope and pray for your four wishes too. Keep up your positive attitude and draw strength from all of us. We are there with you in spirit! Love to all the family, Marianne XOXO

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!