Dear Family and Friends,
To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:
We said farewells to our family last night as they leave this morning to fly back to N.Y. It was so good to see them again! Even though Jessica has been fighting infections while they were here, it was so good to be all together as a family once again. We all had a very special Christmas in Room 845! We look forward to seeing each other again in the new year; with the hope that comes only from our faith in the good Lord up above!
Here is a message from Jessica's Dad - David:
I am overjoyed at seeing the progress that Jessica is making. The world will still see a very sick girl, but I see a girl on the way to recovering from an horrendous illness.
God has a plan, and it is my job to continue to praise the Lord and to continue to believe in a complete recovery.
Throughout the Bible there are stories of men and women facing incredible odds - but God delivered them all.
Always remember that the devil is a liar and a thief - his job is to rob and destroy. But God gave us a powerful weapon to fight back - the weapons name is Jesus!
I await with complete peace and joy for the total healing of my daughter Jessica and the return of my wonderful wife Sarah Gina.
All my love,
A Message from her Sister Katherine:
First and foremost, I would like to say that my mother is absolutely amazing and without her Jessica would not be where she is today! I love you Mom!
This past Christmas was definitely not a normal Christmas for our family, but it definitely was one of the best.
This Christmas in Mexico with my Mom and Jessica opened my eyes to what the holiday is truly about. It has nothing to do with presents or food, but with whom you share it with.
To be completely honest, at first I didn't want to go to Mexico.I thought it would be boring and difficult to be in a hospital room and see my sister in pain. Thankfully, it turned out to be much different. Even though Jessica was in pain alot of the time, I got to laugh and tell jokes and stories with her; we were able to be like sisters again. I was happy to see her crack a smile.
This trip was also very important because before seeing her I didn't have much hope for her recovery. But, after being with her and seeing her improvements , I have a whole new renewed hope and faith - I know she will make it through!
I can truly see the work of God's hands in Mexico and with Dr. Cantu; God's hands are truly mighty indeed!
Mom and Jessica - you both are truly amazing women and I love you both. May God continue to bless you both!
All my love,
A Message from her sister Michelle:
I would like to talk about my sister Jessica. The reason why we are here in Mexico and Jessica is getting better is because she has our Mom with her. She, along with the doctors, has done so much to help make Jessica better and to help her get to this point.
Me and my sister Jessica are 9 years apart. She has always been like my second mother. Jessica and I are best friends AND sisters! I am her "mini-me" - her "wessie".
I love you Jessica with all my heart! You are so strong and determined! All through growing up, I always wished I was more like you. Jessica and me have had our share of cries and laughs. I do believe that you will get better because God is truly a good God! Jessica, you have never lost hope and you never will! Also, Mommy, I love you with all my heart! You both are my joy and inspiration! I have to try and manage at home in N.Y. with Daddy. (ha,ha)
I love you Jessica- "wessie". Always remember to have "HOPE"!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you wessie,
What special messages from our family! It was so great to see them again! The hope is to be finally together again as a family - real soon!
In God's love,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*
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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!