Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Christian Alphabet

Hi to All,

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

I found this poem on the internet the other day. Thought you all might enjoy it!
The Christian Alphabet

The Christian Alphabet Poem

A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know
I magine life without His love
J oy would cease to be

K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts to thee
M ove out of "Camp Complaining"
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone
Q uit looking at the future
R edeem the time at hand
S tart every day with worship
T o "thank" is a command

U ntil we see Him coming
V ictorious in the sky
W e'll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Y es, there will be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

Author Unknown

***Please keep the prayers going for Jessica today. She has been having a rough time with fighting the infections and with the increasing burning pain. The fevers are finally gone again, but she remains on antibiotics to be sure the infections stay away. She will probably be receiving another ketamine booster today with Dr. Cantu. Please pray for Dr. Cantu, Dr. Kirkpatrick, and Dr. Schwartzmann. These doctors have devoted their lives to this horrible disease called RSD. We thank them for all their tireless efforts into treating this disease and for all of their research into ultimately finding a cure for it as well. Also pray for all of the people that suffer their own trials each day with this illness. The above poem is dedicated to all people suffering with ill health today. Hang in there! God is in control!

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

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

"God Will Make A Way"

Hi everyone,

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

One of my favorite Christian songs is "God Will Make A Way".

Here are some of the words:

God will make a way,
When there seems to be no way.
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide,
Hold me closely to His side.
With love and strength for each new day,
He will make a way -
He will make a way.......

You can hear a beautiful version of this song by Don Moen at:

I bring up this song today because it has been the one song that has been constantly playing in my mind, over and over again. There have been so many times in these past four years with Jessica's illnesses that there has seemed to be "no way". And then, another day dawns, and with it, another door seems to open. These are the times when God makes his presence known to me, in ways that are too numerous to mention. He is an awesome God indeed!

Please pray for Jessica today. As her Mom and caregiver, it is my job to help her to see every day that God will make a way, somehow, some way......
She is currently still on antibiotics for the infection. It seems that for Jessica, whenever she has an infection, it causes her RSD to flare up and with that an exacerbation of her pain and neurological symptoms. Remember, her RSD was triggered by infection - Lyme disease - and so it makes sense that this would be the case for her. Dr. Cantu ("Green Shirt") returns today, for which we are so happy! Even though Dr. Luigi took good care of things while he was gone, it is comforting to know he is back. It's like in the game of football. You always want your "star" quarterback in the game, and you only rely on the "2nd string" when the "star"or "1st string" isn't available.

Remember - Where there is a will, there is a way!
Here's hoping that God will show you the "way" as well!

Till tomorrow,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"But he knows the way that I take..." Job 23:10
"And now I will show you the most excellent way".
I Corinthians 12:31
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life". John 14:6

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Dear Family & Friends,

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

This is the time in the early morning (@ 4:00 AM) that I have found is my most special prayer time with God. It is a quiet time, especially when you are in a hospital. As I look outside the window here on the 8th floor I can see such a stillness in the darkness. Even the mountains that have such a majestic appearance during the day seem to fade away in the darkness. There isn't any activity, except for the occasional passing car that appears on the road. It is during these quiet moments that I have had my most revealing and inspiring and moving "times" with the Lord. These "quiet" times when it is just me, God, and no one else!

As I begin these "moments" with God, I first thank Him for his mercy, his unending love and his amazing grace. I thank him for another day. I thank him for his continued blessings upon Jessica, my husband David, and my other daughters Katherine and Michelle. I thank him for watching over my immediate family, my friends, the doctors, nurses and also for all of you!

I then begin to pray. I start out with "special" prayers - for example - today was for all the people that have been affected by the earthquake in Haiti. I pray that they know that God has not forsaken them; that he holds them in the palms of His hands. That He will take care of them! I then offer special prayers for special people that I know personally who are facing their own private trials right now either with illnesses or other things. And I pray for God to watch over my family and friends and keep them safe and well!

I then get into the "serious" prayers - the ones that require immediate attention. Today they focus on Jessica and these pressing requests: For the infection to clear and with that the low-grade fevers, so that she can get off the antibiotics and continue the "small steps" towards recovery. For the burning pain she is experiencing to "quiet down" and go away - Now! For the few lesions that have resurfaced to go away. For her to continue to persevere with the knowledge that God is in control and his timing is perfect. For Dr. Cantu to return because things run smoother when he is here. For Dr. Rainbow, who won't be able to come every day as in the past, may she know how deeply Thankful we are to her for ALL she has meant to us. She has become like a "Grandma" to Jessica in more ways than one! Also, we pray for ALL of you - our God-given support system. It is all of you, along with your prayers and daily comments on the blog, that enable us to move forward every day - Thank You! Also, we pray for Fern Kwantes, a former coma patient, as she returns in the beginning of February for the much needed boosters she requires and can't obtain in Canada. And for Justin Brown, may his re-acclimation back home be smooth and uneventful. All these things I ask, in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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

"You have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith...may be found to result in praise & glory".
I Peter I 6-7

"When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you".
Matthew 6:6

Special thanks to Silvia who came on Sunday with a plate of homemade lasagna from the Union Church. She is a very special person and seems to always show up at the hospital when needed the most. (Thank you God for that).
Also, to Betty from Union Church who came by a few days ago with a book and a magazine to read. The people of Union Church, along with their Pastor David Long - are simply unbelievable - God Bless Them All!

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Pieces" of the Puzzle

Hi to All,

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

I will have an update on Jessica tomorrow.

Today is a happy and a sad day. It's happy in that today, our fellow RSD patient in Room 844 is finally going home. Justin Brown and his Dad left the Hospital San Jose Tec this morning to return home to Pennsylvania. Justin will be returning to the states to continue his road to recovery! Godspeed Justin & Rick!

Justin's Mom Joan and Dad Rick were the first persons I met when we arrived here in Mexico. I will never forget how happy I was to know that there were fellow "americans" here as well. Because they had already been here for a few months, they knew all the "ropes" and were so helpful to me in those beginning days on the 8th floor. They were the ones I went to for guidance and strength, especially during those days in the coma and in ICU.

Justin became known as the "Ice Pop Boy". This was the name that Jessica had given him because he was always asking for some of our ice-pops that we had brought from home. These are the ice-pops that come in a long plastic tube filled with liquid that you put in the freezer and they come in different flavors and colors. They became a favorite for all the coma patients on the floor as well - especially when word got out that we had them! We were glad to share them with all!

Yesterday, I presented Justin with the handmade "Ketamine Coma Bear" that I made as a farewell present to him. It is something that he can look upon to remember where he has been and to realize how far he has come - Enjoy the bear Justin!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rick Brown for ALL that he did for me to make my life and Jessica's life easier while here in Mexico. Words cannot adequately say "Thank-You" for all the help he gave to us. From going to the store, to bringing my laundry to the laundromat, to buying the coffee - and to most importantly - always being there to talk to as well! After the Emmanuels - Devon & Cathy - left, Rick became my special "messenger" in more ways than one - so THANK YOU - again Rick - for everything!

Also, let me say this to all who are battling diseases like RSD, Lyme, Cancer, Crohn's, etc. When you are faced with illnesses - it affects the patient in a very profound way physically. As their caregivers - it affects us in a very profound way emotionally. We are here with them 24/7 - trying to tend to their physical needs as well as their emotional needs. We are the ones that stand beside them and offer unconditional "love", "support", and "encouraging" words, when we ourselves are the ones who need these "encouraging" words at times as well!

I guess what I am trying to say is this: I have come to realize that when you are confronted with a major illness in your life or the life of your loved one - "We" - the caregivers, the family, the friends, the doctors, the nurses, EVERYONE, become a part of the "puzzle". Yes, we all are a "piece" of the puzzle! And it takes all of these "pieces" - all together - to finally complete the puzzle - and make it whole again! Everyone plays a "part", we all are a "piece" to the puzzle! The ultimate goal is to find that last "piece" of the puzzle --- the"healing" piece! It is then and only then that the puzzle is complete and all of the "pieces" that helped form that puzzle come together as one!

So, Godspeed to Justin, to his Dad Rick, and to his Mom Joan and brother Chris - who are waiting for him with open arms - to welcome him home! Let's hope that his final "piece" of the puzzle - his "healing" will be revealed really soon!!!

Here is a Poem for Justin, Jessica, Devon, Fern, Elena, Debbie, Lindsay, Kaci, Irene, Linda, Emily, Patricia, Shannon, Sue, Mary, Suzanne and everyone else who is battling this disease:

If you don't know where you are going,
then how will you get there?
Make pictures in your mind.
See the destination.
Imagine your arrival.
Dream in perfect detail.
See yourself the way you want to be when you arrive.
See yourself arriving.
Make yourself a road map and study it every day
until you know the way and the destination by heart.

In God's love, always,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

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Friday, January 22, 2010

God Gives Hope

Dear Family & Friends,

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

One of the great themes of Christianity is hope - triumphant hope. Not just hope as in a distant dream, but triumphant hope - the kind of hope where all things end right. It is this hope that brought us here to Mexico in the first place. The hope of a better life for Jessica. In the midst of all the struggles and challenges, all the storms and sufferings, we can advance our thoughts beyond today and see relief.....see the triumph.....see the victory! Because --- in the end, God does indeed win! Jessica's journey of hope will ultimately prevail!

Please continue to pray for Jessica. These past few weeks have definitely been a struggle for her, physically and emotionally. Please pray for the fevers and infections to stay at bay and with that the pain to be lessened. Please pray for her to continue taking the "small steps" of hope towards the ultimate victory. As I have said before, our journey is a day to day one. We know that with God all things are possible and in life, you have to realize that the things that are worth waiting for take time to reveal themselves, but they will - that is our hope! We have seen the progress made here, we have seen the miracles unfold. We know that it took time for her to get ill - it will take time for her to get better. God is in control!

As Linda from Indiana wrote in one of the comments on the blog for Jessica's birthday -

"I too have RSD/CRPS which has spread full body. While helping my doctor research the timing of ketamine boosters for my outpatient protocol, I came across your story. It came at a point where depression had taken hold and your faith, as well as your mother's, turned my eyes back to Jesus.

No matter how much physical healing I ultimately get, I praise Him for the spiritual healing going on in me each day despite the pain. To see someone like you also in so much pain who has touched so many people, to me this is a your eyesight, your movement in your legs, your healed sores, your medical team in the right place at the right time, etc.

And I KNOW, as your mother has written, that there is much more in store for you, and me, and all the others suffering from this disease." ... Linda, from Indiana

Thank you Linda for those beautiful words for Jessica. They meant so much to her and me as well! You are a stranger that has now become a friend. May Jesus heal you as well!

In His Love, always,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"For you alone have been my hope, my Lord, my confidence since my youth" Psalm 71:5
"I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, "Do not fear, for I will help you". Isaiah 41:13

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Hi to All,

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

I have two good things to report to all:

1) Jessica's fevers finally went away two days ago - thanks be to God. The new antibiotics definitely did the trick and so she will remain on those for another week to be sure that the infection stays away!
2) Jessica's Dad will be leaving the hospital today as well!

Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow!

Thought I would share this tip with everyone today. It is something that I use with Jessica and could be an invaluable tool for all those suffering with RSD. For the past few years I have been using a Travel Size Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. It is manufactured by Life Source and it sells for @ $90. With many RSD patients, they have an extreme sensitivity to touch. This monitor is put on the wrist and is much less painful than the standard blood pressure cuff that is put on the upper arm. The other thing that is great is that you can bring it with you on ambulances, to doctor's appointments, and even to hospitals, so that you can take your own readings! It also records up to 30 of your last readings so that you even have a record to show to the doctors as well. It is travel size and completely portable and it runs on batteries! It also has the ability to tell you when your heartbeat is irregular. I have been using it every day here in the hospital with Jessica. It is great --- just thought I would pass it on to all those suffering with RSD or really anyone that is ill. It can be purchased at a medical supply store or at ( Hope it helps you as much as it has helped us!

Also - another great product we have used for Jessica and her Dad David and the family as well are the Vemma liquid vitamins and minerals. They also carry an energy supplement called Verve. There is a lot of information about these products on their website, so I recommend that you check them out. Also, proceeds from the sales of these products go to help Jessica and her journey. The website is as follows: or also at

Hope these tips can be useful!

Every day we are called to small things with great love.

..........Mother Teresa

In God's love, always
Jessica's Mom*

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Monday, January 18, 2010

34,000 Views of Blog ! 6,000 Views of YouTube!

Hi everyone,

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

Thank you all once again for all the beautiful birthday messages for Jessica - she received a total of 147 comments - 137 on her actual day and 10 the day before! 147 "Presents"!!! Thanks!!!

Special prayers are needed today for Jessica. Also, special prayers for her Dad who is back in the hospital for a few days. I will keep you posted on the both of them!

The following is a quote from Robin Roberts of Ch.7's - Good Morning America in N.Y. It is the prayer that she begins each and every day with. She is a cancer survivor. Here it is:

"The light of God surrounds me,
The love of God enfolds me,
The power of God protects me,
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is!!!"

May God be where You are today as well!

With love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

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Saturday, January 16, 2010



Dear Family, Friends, & Bloggers,

Words cannot adequately describe the heartfelt thanks that we feel for ALL OF YOU!!! You are all simply amazing and we want to personally say THANK YOU for making Jessica's 22nd birthday so very, very special! God used all of you to make her birthday in a hospital a little more bearable and we so thank you for that blessing!

As of this posting, Jessica received 135 comments yesterday for her birthday - WOW!!!

As each comment or birthday message came in, and I read them to her, it was like we were opening up a new present or package for her special day. From Maine to New York, down to Virginia and Florida, from Texas to California, Canada, Mexico and Europe - so MANY well-wishes - it just took our breath away - we are humbled by the continued outpouring of love and support you have all shown to Jessica and to our family throughout this journey - Jessica's Journey!!! She will be victorious in this quest to a better life and we look forward to one day seeing you all and thanking you all in person!!!

Special thanks also go out to Dr. Rainbow! She brought over a feast for everyone to enjoy, the doctors, nurses and staff, to say thanks to all of them for taking care of Jessica so well! Special thanks to Clarissa for the most delicious cupcakes she made -- I have competition! Thank you also to Justin for the balloon he "walked" over to her room from his - it meant alot to see a fellow RSD sufferer up on his feet - Bravo! Also, once again, the ladies of Union Church - Barbara, Betty, Sylvia, & Graciella - for bringing over goodies as well! Thank you all from one grateful Mom!

One thing that I have come to realize is that God never intended any of us to live in a cave all by ourselves. He designed us to live in friendship and fellowship and community with one another. That's why we, the body of Christ, are so very important, for it is where we are all drawn together in love and mutual encouragement. We are all meant to be a part of one another's lives! It's what makes life worth living!

As it says in Ephesians 5:1-2:

"Therefore be imitators of God,.....and live a life of love".

In God's love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*
P.S. - Thanks for making my "wish" come true!

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Friday, January 15, 2010


JESSICA !!!!!!!

Love, your "dog" Molly xoxo

Today is Jessica's 22nd Birthday !!! Here is a special letter I have written to her:

To my beloved daughter Jessica,

Today is the day that I celebrate and cherish. Twenty-two years ago today, I brought you, my first daughter, into this world!

You were born at 11:21 AM and with a full head of hair. Your Dad and I were so excited - we had been waiting for God to bless us with you for 5 years! When you were born you weighed in at 9 lbs. 15 ozs! The doctors said that if I had eaten another slice of pizza the night before, you would have weighed 10 lbs!

Your eyes - a bright blue - just like the sky above. You kept that color blue till the age of two, when God saw fit to change them to a beautiful hazel green! And oh - what a smart child you were!

My daughter, you were beautiful! And you are beautiful now!

I know that you have gone through such trying times these past 4 years. You've experienced real suffering, more than anyone should have had to bear! I've felt honored and loved that you've turned to me during these difficult times.

Please know that I am always here for you! I've promised to wipe away every one of your tears and to never walk away from you. I've promised to never stop loving you --- to never give up on you --- until you are finally well and whole again!

Our hope lies in the good Lord above. Our God who gives us hope. A hope that never disappoints!

Today, at 11:21 AM, you will be 22 years old and I know that being in a hospital is not the place you want to be to celebrate your birthday.

My wish for you this year is simple. It has been my wish for these past 4 years. The wish is that you and I, and our family, can once again enjoy all the good things that life has to enjoy --- and to enjoy them abundantly!

I can see you "better" one day!
I can see us "walking" the beaches again!
I can see you "laughing" with your Dad & sisters again!
I can see you "running" as you play fetch with your beloved dog Molly!

I know right now it may be hard for you to "see" these things as well. It's easy for me to say these things, I am not in your "shoes"!

Just know that as your Mom, I will do all I can, with God's guidance, to help you to "see" through my eyes --- that there is light at the end of this tunnel! That there is victory up ahead.....

I hope you know just how very much you are loved, treasured, admired and adored!!!

Happy 22nd Birthday Jessica!

I love you and always will,

***Remember: God Gives Hope That Never Disappoints!!!***

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tomorrow is Jessica's Birthday!!!

Hi everyone,

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

Tomorrow - Friday, January 15th - is Jessica's birthday! She will be 22 years old! My wish is twofold for her. First and foremost, for her body to be restored back to health - strong and free of disease! Second, for her to receive many well wishes on the blog for her special day!

Tomorrow, I will also be posting a special letter I wrote to her as well!

Having faith - knowing that tomorrow will hold the blessings of God and always living by faith, not by sight - One day at a time!

Till tomorrow,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

Proverbs 16:3:
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans WILL succeed!"

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

3 Days Till Jessica's Birthday!!!

Hi to All,

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

Yesterday was another rough day for Jessica. She is still battling the infections and still having fevers and with that increasing pain. She was put back on a continuous IV infusion of ketamine, along with another medication for the pain. Also, another doctor was called in to try to figure out the proper antibiotics that will work for her infections. My wish is for her to feel somewhat better for her birthday which is this Friday - January 15th. She is a fighter and I am amazed everyday at her perseverance and strength, but we do ask God to "lighten her load" a little bit today!

Hope this day finds you all well!

Till tomorrow,
Jessica's Mom*

"Frequently remind yourself that God is with you, that He will never fail you, that you can count on Him!. Say these words: "GOD IS WITH ME, HELPING ME!"

A quote from: Norman Vincent Peale

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Monday, January 11, 2010

4 Days Till Jessica's Birthday!!!

Dear Family & Friends,

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

First, I would like to say THANK YOU for all of your comments and well wishes on the blog yesterday for my birthday - they all meant so very much to me!

All the doctors and nurses wished me a Happy Birthday and they said I didn't look a day over 30 (haha)! Dr. Cantu's wife Gloria sent me a beautiful mustard-colored scarf - I love it! Also, Dr. Rainbow came over with her husband Manuel and Clarissa and Eugenio (two of her grandchildren) to wish me well and to meet Jessica. They brought over a giant balloon, birthday signs, personalized stationery, wine, and a homemade flan (my favorite dessert after tiramisu)! Rick Brown, Justin's Dad bought me pistachios - one of my weaknesses! Also, Angeles, one of Jessica's nurses gave me a beautiful bracelet. So, all in all, my 51st birthday, in the Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey, was pretty nice indeed! THANK YOU TO ALL!!!

I am now in a countdown to my sweet Jessica's 22nd birthday which is in 4 days - on Friday, January 15th! Don't forget my wish - for her to receive the most comments on the blog that day!!! I know my fellow bloggers will come through for me!!!

Update on Jessica:

She is still fighting 3 infections and still running fevers. She is currently on 2 antibiotics - tigecycline & levaquin - as they are the ones that are sensitive for her infections. Also, the day before my birthday she had to have her central catheter changed as it became infected as well. Please pray for Jessica to feel better for her birthday on Friday! God is in control, this we know, so we patiently await for His miracles to continue to unfold!

Also, my husband David did finally leave the hospital yesterday in N.Y. It was determined that he indeed was having a flare-up of his Crohn's disease, and so he will be on a more regimented course of Remicade infusions to keep his illness under control.

Once again, Thank You All for all your love and support and birthday wishes for me yesterday - I am honored to have you all as "family & friends".

Special Happy Birthday to Jodi from Team Jessica - who turns 5o! today, and also to my friend Paulette in N.Y!

In God's love,
Sarah Gina*

"He will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart".
(Ecclesiastes 5:20)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jessica Turns 22 in 5 Days!!! Today I Turn 51 !!!

Hi everyone,

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

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Today is my birthday. It was 51 years ago today, that I came into the world. At the time, my parents lived in an apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y. I was born into a nice Italian family- to parents with real Italian names - Salvatore & Josephine! I was their third child, my sister Caroline and my brother Vincent came before me, and after me came my brother Charles. We were all named after our grandparents, only my mom "americanized" our names from Carolina, Vincenzo, Serafina, and Calogero respectively!

I must say that God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family and a wonderful life. Yes, there were sad times ( the passing away of my Dad at 61 and my brother Charlie at 40) and then there were happy times (the births of my three daughters - Jessica, Katherine & Michelle). I thank God for being an ever present - "presence" - in my life, especially these past 10 years, with my husband David's illness and now with Jessica's illness as well!

I also want to thank all of you - my dear family & friends - for being with me, standing by me, loving me, supporting me, and also for "holding me up" at times --- you are all very special to me - a true gift from God!

Remember, my wish is twofold for this birthday:

1) For Jessica to be well again - free of pain and sickness!!!

2) On this Friday - January 15th - for Jessica to receive the most well wishes on the blog for her birthday as she turns 22!!!

May God bless you all!
Sarah Gina ( aka Serafina)*

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you all the desires of your heart!" (Psalm 37:4)

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Friday, January 8, 2010

One Week till Jessica's Birthday!

Hi everyone,

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

I can't believe that in just one week from today Jessica will be turning 22 ! On that day I will be posting a special letter that I have written for her. Also, it is my birthday wish for her to receive the most comments on the blog for well wishes for her birthday and the new year. I don't know if you are all aware of this but this blog site has a very interesting feature. They have a service that will turn your blog, all the posts and all the comments, everything, into a book - so that it will forever be a special reminder or keepsake - of where you have been, what you have gone through, and how far you have come!!!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Jessica. The tests did reveal that she has two infections and because of that she will remain on antibiotics until the infections subside and the fevers are gone. These past few weeks have been trying to say the least - but Jessica's whole "journey" has been one of perseverance, strength, hope, and faith; first and foremost in God and also in herself as well! One day a time, with God's help - that has been our plan from the beginning!

We pray that this day finds you all well and happy. Till tomorrow....

Forever in His care,
Jessica's Mom*

"The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom!. ( Deuteronomy 28: 11-13)

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

8 Days Till Her Birthday !!!

Dear Family & Friends,

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

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday but Jessica began the day not feeling very well, and when temperatures were taken, it was discovered that she had a fever once again. Blood cultures were taken and it slowly climbed to 104.4 !!! We are awaiting the results of the tests that were drawn, but due to the high fevers she was put on tygacil - an antibiotic - for infection. I will keep you posted. Pray for a speedy recovery for Jessica.

Sometimes when you go through battles it isn't as easy to trust in God during these times of adversity. Sometimes feelings of distress trouble our souls as we wonder if God is truly caring about our plight. But - not to trust in Him - is to doubt His power and to question His goodness. In order to trust God we must view our adverse circumstances through eyes of faith, and not our own senses.

It is only through His scripture, applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that we receive the grace to trust God in everything!

Trusting in Him,
Jessica's Mom*

"We are not of those who shrink back.....but of those who have faith". (Hebrews 10:39)

*Today's blog is in memory of a young man named Chava Brisino, who passed away from cancer 2 days ago, here in Monterrey. He had become known to us through Dr. Zavala (Rainbow). Chava had been praying for Jessica even though they never met and we had been praying for him. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Brisino family for the loss of their son and to everyone who knew him and grew to love him so!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 Days Till Her Birthday!

Greetings from Mexico,

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

Yesterday was an eventful day for Jessica. In discussions with Dr. Cantu, it was decided that in order to try to alleviate the pain that was intolerable in the right leg, from the knee to the foot, he would perform a Bier Block procedure. It is done to temporarily block some pain in an affected limb by injecting three different type of anesthetics to the area, under sedation. Afterwards, you generally feel a tingly, numbing sensation but hopefully the constant shooting burning pain is lessened. This procedure can last anywhere from a few days, to a week, or maybe even a month. Please pray that it works for Jessica and that it gives her some relief from the unbearable pain. Also, the last antibiotic was stopped yesterday after being on antibiotics for 14 days due to multiple infections. Thanks be to God and thanks to all of you for your prayers.

Special Request!!!:

Jessica and I share this month as our birthday month. On January 10th I will be a "young" 51 (haha) and on January 15th, my sweet Jessica will be turning 22 !!!
My birthday wish this year is what it has been for these past four years since she became ill - and that is for my daughter to be well again -free of pain and sickness ! Free of RSD and Lyme !
This year, because of Jessica's incredible "journey" and this "blog", and all of you, our dear family and friends, I have a second wish or "request":
On her birthday - Friday, January 15th - I would love for her to get the most comments and well-wishes on the blog that day! So, if you all can get the word out to all the blog followers for me, it would be so appreciated and may God bless you all!

Love always,
Jessica's Mom*

"Thanks be to God...who....manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place".
(2 Corinthians 2:14)

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

3 Days Into the New Year.....

Dear Friends and Family,

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

Things are more back to normal on the 8th floor. Yesterday, Dr. Cantu returned from his vacation to Texas with his family. Things always run smoother when he is here, so we are glad to have him back! Also, Dr. Rainbow finally returned to see us as well. She had been taking care of her Mom who had to be hospitalized for a few days. It was good to see them both return!

We are glad to have the past 10 days behind us. Jessica was taken off of 2 antibiotics but is still on vancomycin for a catheter infection. We thank God that the past 10 days are finally behind her. Between the fevers and infections, and then Christmas and the family being here, it was "crazy" to say the least. Speaking of family, Jessica's Dad is still in the hospital in N.Y. They believe he is having a flare-up of Crohn's disease, but are running additional tests to rule out other causes. Thank you all for your continued prayers for him and for Jessica!

I would like to thank Barbara from the Union Church in Monterrey. She came by a few days ago with a delicious home-cooked meal. She also copied on paper some thoughts on the book of Job especially for Jessica which I have hung on her wall. Here is one of those thoughts:

Job's cry for a swift resolution to the injustice that he is suffering is a familiar one. Everyone wants God's timing to be their timing. It is so very hard to wait for Him to act when everything within us is screaming for an end to the pain. But throughout the story of Job, from Genesis to Revelation, God's timing is perfectly perfect. The apostle Peter reminds us that God operates on a whole different timetable than we do - for the best of reasons. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Such true words indeed, thanks again Barbara!

Also, special thanks go out to two lovely women from the Disciples of Jesus Christ, here in Monterrey - Camille and Marianne. They came over to visit and pray with Jessica, as they had heard about her through Sisters Damiana and Juana Teresa, who had visited Jessica before Christmas.

So happy to usher in a new year - 2010. Just waiting on God's timing for all the miracles to unfold for Jessica this year............

With love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God". My times are in your hands!" (Psalm 31:14&15)

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Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year to All,

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

The first day of the new year and my first blog of 2010.

Thank you all for all of your prayers for Jessica. The past ten days post the ICU were rough, as she was fighting infections and on 3 different antibiotics. Yesterday the fevers finally broke and the elevated heart rates also lowered, so we praise God for this new day! Dr. Luigi is trying some different medications to help her with the constant headaches, as well as her pain. In 2 weeks, on January 15th, Jessica will be turning 22 while here in Monterrey! We have faith in God's promises to us. Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the future. It's simply taking God at his Word and taking the next step. Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness. It's knowing that tomorrow will hold the blessings of God! Faith is living each day - one at a time! This is my resolution for the new year 2010!!!

Special prayers are needed today for Jessica's Dad. He has been having fevers since his trip to Mexico to see Jessica and I for Christmas and so his doctor admitted him to the hospital in N.Y. yesterday for some testing. He will probably be in the hospital for a few more days. Never a dull moment in the Stevens' family!

Hoping that all of your New Year's resolutions come true!

In God's love, always,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him". Hebrews 11:6

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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!

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!