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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JennKurz said...

Hi Jessica and Gina

So happy to hear that you are off two of the antibiotics. That's wonderful news. I'm sure you are so happy that Dr.Cantu is back. He seems like an extraordinary doctor.

My mom spoke with David last night and she told me that he seems to be doing well. Praise God.

I'll continue to pray for more miracles to unfold in this glorious New Year.

God Bless you all,

Fern said...

How difficult it must be to have two family members in the hospital! God is truly working hard in your family. Did you ever hear the comment that often is said by pastor's during a sermon. It has to do with the Paul's message that as people of faith, we are not guaranteed an easy life, but we are guaranteed that God will walk with us through it and that he will equip us with all that we need to endure. I often think of that as | wrestle with my own struggles and as i watch family and friends suffer. Our reward is in heaven where bodies will be strong and healthy and the sin caused suffering will cease. In some of my darkest moments when I felt like giving up and that my family would be much better off if I were gone, that was when I realized God's movements in a much more surreal way. I would get a phone call, an email, a visit, a verse, a stranger would be kind to me, etc. As I have been following Jessica's blog, I am often awed by how much God has shown you His unending love, His power to change things, His love for Jessica and for you and for your family. You are surrounded by good people that God has chosen just for this moment to act as ambassadors for him. What an honour to be a witness to such a miraculous thing!
My prayers stay with you. Last night, I could not sleep and spent many hours lifting Jessica, your husband and of course the rest of you in prayer. I hope that you felt this message in your heart as you rested.
Have a good Sunday, my friends.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jessica and Gina.

It is Michelle. I am in NY State ready to get my Iv and wanted to tell you how much I have thought about you guys this Christmas. Brian is looking forward to resuming Jessica's necklace when backorders come in. But meanwhile he will be doing my job while I am gone. Babysitting Tristen, (those little lyme kids sure have a lot of energy sometimes.) when I get back hopefully the stuff will be there for him to start again.

Love to you. Your are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

hi from snowy New York. Sorry about David. Sure hope he's ok. Wanted to let you know that I'm always thinking about you two. Jessica, you better hurry and get well so we can PARTY! Love ya, Bonnie

Camille said...

Hi Jessica and Sara,

It was wonderful meeting you!

I want to tell you about the blessings I received after Mary Ann and I visited you.

I had a couple of problems that needed resolving and that afternoon, after visiting you, they were solved!

I immediately thought about you and thanked God for your intercessions.

I hope our visit brought blessings to both of you and your family in the U.S.

You are in my prayers.


Lizycas said...

January 10th is my birthday ( 52 ) and January 15th is my bestfriend from college who passed away in October, 1989, my " Angel Annie " has always answered my prayers and I feel her with me 24/7. I've been praying to " Annie " to guide and comfort you Jessica as this journey is NOT EASY by any means. You have inspired soooo MANY people you have no idea . . . . . miracles are about to happen in this new year of ours " 2010 " .

Peace, love and comfort to you,

Liz Castellano

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!