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!

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


Anonymous said...

Charles Spurgeon, looking forward

“In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part, to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown—and onward is the goal. Whether it is for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love—the future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith.

Looking into the future, the Christian sees sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect, and fit to be a partaker of eternal glory. Looking further yet, the believer’s enlightened eye can see death’s river passed. He sees himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with Him, and made to sit together with Him on His throne.”

Fern said...

When my children were little we used to listen to a radio program called "Adventures in Odyssey". It was a program for children but I always enjoyed listening. One night they did a story about the man who wrote the song "It is well with my soul" Do you know the song? Apparently, his family was sailing on a ship to join him and there was an accident and his family was killed. His business also had a fire and he lost everything. One day, he was on a ship himself and he asked the captain to tell him when he got to the point where the ship his family had been on, had sunk. As he sat there looking out over the water, he wrote the poem and a friend later put it to music. This is a popular song in hymn books around the world and was written out of extreme grief and sad circumstances. When I am struggling myself, I will often find myself humming the tune or saying the words in my mind. Even though everything may be crashing around me, it is definitely well with my soul. Your post reminded me of that, as it is heartening to see, that you cling to what you know and believe even when times are tough, and indeed they are very tough for you right now. In these times, we need to be ever more sure of that which we hope for, Him in whom we trust and fervent in our view of the future.
Jessica, it is my prayer today that your fever will break but most importantly that you will feel God's strength in this and that you will be keenly aware that Jesus sits beside your bedside today and is holding your hand. Rest in Him!
Sarah, it is so hard to be a mother and watch your child suffer. I cannot imagine how much more difficult things would have been for me had it been my child rather than me that walks this path. I pray strength, determination and wisdom for you today. May you feel God's ever presence.

Marianne said...

Sorry to hear Jessica's fever has returned. It's only natural to want to question why. We trust in God and await in his time for Jessica's recovery. You are doing a great job Gina. Stay strong and remember you are not alone. Lots of Love, Marianne

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, You are in my thoughts and prayers all the time. I pray that you experience relief from the pain and the fevers, that God surrounds you with His grace and comfort, and that He sends you clear signs so that you will know His presence. You already know of the great extent to which He is working in your lives right now. The struggle that Jess is going through is a sacred one. I pray that, by always looking through the eyes of faith, you will be able to see all the blessings in their true form as they come. I send my prayers to you, to struggle with you, to support you and comfort you every day. I wish I could do more. You are always in my thoughts- love always, Angel

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I received a little note that I will pass on.
'"Will of God will never tak you where the Grace of God will not protect you."
May the Lord give the gift of knowledge to those that can help Jessica find her health.
Please update us on David. Lost your GC phone number but will be at Church of Ressurection on Sunday the 17th for a wedding.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Mrs. Stevens,

We continue to keep you in our prayers. I know how difficult it is as struggles, trials and pain continue in what seems a never ending stream, in all the Chaos. I found this poem online and love it.

In The Chaos

In the chaos I am there
I have come to bring peace in the chaos
Joy in the pain
Hope through the suffering
I am holding you
Through the chaos
I am holding you.

A cloud of chaos
Brokenness and suffering
Youve been here for so long
Youve been crying out
Hear My voice
Through the chaos
I am there.

I see the chaos
I see the pain
The time has come
For you to be finally be
Release the anger
Release the sadness

I see the chaos
I see the pain
The time has come
For you to be finally free
Hear Me through the chaos.

My child I love you
I am with you through the chaos
Hear My voice calling out to you
Feel My arms holding you
Embrace My love setting you free.

Through all the chaos
I have been there
Calling you
Restoring you
Healing you
I have been with you always
Even when you didnt know Me.

I have been there
Through all the anger
Through all the sadness
Through all the pain
I have been there
Through the chaos.

I see the chaos
I see the pain
The time has come
For you to be finally be
Release the anger
Release the sadness

I see the chaos
I see the pain
The time has come
For you to be finally free
Hear Me through the chaos.

Lift your hands
Receive the freedom
Receive the blessing
Lift your hands

I see the chaos
I see the pain
The time has come
For you to be finally free
Hear Me through the chaos.

Continuing to pray and love you even if we are thousands of miles away.

In His Love,

Lindsay Spengler

Anonymous said...

1 John 4:13-16

13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

Anonymous said...

Sara and Jessica,

Our congregation continues to lift you up in prayer every time we gather. In this new year as you celebrate birthdays, know that the Author and Giver of Life is using all of you to be a witness to His truth, His love, glory and compassion. Thank you for your witness and may you be encouraged and restored daily with the very presence of the Lord Himself.

Peace and Joy

Pastor Kevin
Marco Island

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! My prayer's are with you.

Anonymous said...

My prayers for a happy and peaceful day as you celebrate your 22nd birthday! God Bless you and your family.

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!