Sunday, February 28, 2010

Necklaces Are Back!

To Order Jessica's Journey Necklace, CLICK ON LINK :

Hi To Family & Friends,


Jessica's necklace is back in production! I have heard from the Mah Family of Lymelinks/Etsy and they have received all the necessary materials & stones to start making more of Jessica's necklaces. They go on sale once again today! I would personally like to thank Brian & Michelle Mah for all their help and for donating all the proceeds from the sales of the necklaces to Jessica's Journey Fund! Please support them as well, as they are going through their own battle with Lyme disease, by visiting their website for many other jewelry items. Necklaces will be shipped in @ 1 - 6 weeks. Any questions - you can contact Brian Mah at:

Thank you all & May God bless you for your support!

Update On Jessica:

Jessica continues to try to take the "small steps" needed. For the past week she has been trying to go on her computer at night, while it is quiet and dark, to see how much her brain can handle. After the coma, it is necessary to work with your brain in the re-setting process. For her, things that may have taken her a shorter amount of time to do before, now require a much longer amount of time. This can be frustrating at times for her, but she knows she needs to take things slowly and try not to push herself farther than her brain will allow her to go. "Small steps" as Dr. Cantu always says! For now she goes on her computer at night for short periods of time and she tries to slowly increase it as tolerated.

Thank you all for always keeping Jessica in your thoughts and prayers. It means more to us than you can ever know!

Special thanks to Blanca Canavati - a woman that I met who is from Monterrey and visits everyday with her relative who is in the hospital. We speak when she visits and she has offered her help to me while I am here. Yesterday she brought me a present - a beautiful fleece blanket - to keep warm! Thank you so much Blanca! The people I have met while here in Mexico have been so very compassionate and truly amazing!

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

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps".
Proverbs 16:9

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Friday, February 26, 2010

"Chapters" of the Story

Hi To All,

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

As I sit here and realize that I have written and posted over 150 blog entries to "Jessica's Journey", I am simply amazed. Not amazed at myself but more amazed at what God has revealed to me and through me with each and every post that I have made.

Each post is a part of the story of this journey. The parts or posts become "chapters" and the "chapters" become the "story". The "book" that God has been writing through me has many, many chapters. Some chapters are happy, some are sad. Others are frustrating and seem wrong, while others are rewarding and seem so right.

God will be all in all. His will will be done. What may seem frustrating, wrong or unfair is not the end of the story. It's just the end of that chapter. Thank God the book that is being written here is full of many, many chapters!
Augustine once said something so right, when he said: "We count on God's mercy for our past mistakes; we count on God's love for our present needs; but we count on God's sovereignty for the future!"

Pray for Jessica and lift her up today as she continues with her daily struggles and accomplishments. Pray that the "chapters" being written here in Mexico - add up to a wonderful "book" - one that is complete with a happier ending. Isn't this what we ALL hope and pray for each day? To God be All the glory!

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

"I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God".
Hebrews 8:10

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Special Message to My Sister!

Hi To All from Mexico,

Today is my sister Carol's birthday. She is also Jessica's aunt and godmother. Since I can't be with her today I would like to send this present - a special message to her - via the blog, to wish her a very special Happy Birthday from Monterrey, Mexico.


Dear Carol,

A sister has a special perception. When you hurt, she feels your pain. When you're happy, she shares your joy. When you're frightened, she understands.

And, when a dark day comes, a sister is not afraid to enter into the darkness with you. She walks in - invited or not - it doesn't matter - and she brings with her the comfort of God!

Even when you try to hide your worry or your pain, a sister can see through you, right down to the truth. A sister is like a "ministering angel" (Hebrews 1:14), sent straight from heaven to you!

Happy Birthday to my "strong" big sister Carol - who has battled with cancer these past two years - and has made it through!

Remember this Carol - next year we will celebrate your birthday on the beach in Marco Island - collecting seashells - arm in arm - once again!!!

Love you always, your "baby" sister, Sarah
Con mucho amor de Mexico...............


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Perseverance & Strength

Hi to All,

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

Jessica received another booster yesterday. We were able to sit her bed up more and we have also begun playing music softly in her room during the booster. As you know, Jessica has had severe sensitivity to sounds and light before we arrived in Mexico and she has needed to wear sunglasses in her room and Bose noise-cancelling headphones as well 24/7. When her eyesight was restored in December she has been gradually trying to tolerate the light more and more each day. I am happy to tell you all that she no longer needs to wear sunglasses in the room! This is another "small step" but a huge advance that she has taken towards recovery! Also, she has also begun only wearing ear plugs and trying to keep the headphones off more and more each day. Another "small step" as Dr. Cantu always says!

I am so proud of Jessica. These small steps that she is taking while still struggling with the pain, are simply amazing and a true testament to her courage and perseverance and inner strength. There have been many days where she has felt that she had had enough and couldn't do this another day! God has truly blessed her with a spirit of tenacity; of grace under fire; of steadfast determination under insurmountable odds; a true will to somehow keep going on...........

Please pray for her today. Pray for her to keep fighting through the pain; to keep taking the "small steps" needed; to keep holding on to that original "hope" that brought us here to Mexico --- the hope of a more "normal" life - free of sickness and pain!

May God Bless You All,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

As it says in Hebrews 10:35:
"So do not throw away your confidence -- it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you WILL receive what he has promised!"
Also - Hebrews 12:1:
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus - the author and perfecter of our faith"
Also - Hebrews 13:5:
"Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you! So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid!"

***Special thanks go out once again to the following people:
1. Eloida & Rodolfo from the Union Church - for "all" their help this past week.
2. Sylvia - my new best friend here in Monterrey. She is an amazing, loving person who always brings her friendship and also - this Sunday - Lasagna (yes-Italian food at last!).
3. Manuel & Daniel - for making and bringing "purified" water for Jessica and I. It was so special of Manuel to do this for us.
4. Barbara - for all the homemade food she continues to bring and her friendship as well.
5. Betty - who dropped by with american magazines for me to read. I missed talking with her, as Jessica was having a rough day that day.
6. And last but not least - Pastor Long - from the Union Church. He has given us amazing strength through his spiritual guidance while here in Mexico. It is a true testament to him that All the people that have been mentioned above ALL come from the church that he pastors --- Union Church. That says it all! God is alive and well!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

40,000 Views of Blog!!!

Blessed Sunday To All,

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

Everyday for the past two months I have been reading inspirational stories to Jessica to help pass the time and also to provide a distraction from the pain. I find these stories on the internet and some of them are simply amazing and very thought provoking, especially when you are in a hospital.

Today - Jessica's Journey Blog - has received over 40,000 Views!!! We can't thank you all enough for the love and support and inspirational comments you have posted to this blog!

In honor of that I wanted to share the following link to a slideshow that I think you will all find very interesting. Please watch it till the end as it conveys a special prayer to All of you from Jessica and I, from Mexico.

Enjoy and May God Bless You All!


All our love,
Sarah Gina & Jessica*

Center of His Word:
PSALM 118:8

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Rainy Day in Monterrey...

Hola to All,

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

Yesterday was a rainy day in Monterrey. For Jessica it seemed she was having a day filled with more pain. Dr. Cantu came by late last night to give her a booster to help to alleviate some of that increasing pain. She did seem to rest a little better afterwards. The hope is for her to have a somewhat better day today.

I guess we have to remember that no matter how dark the clouds may be and how heavy the rain may fall, the sun will eventually pierce the darkness of the sky, and the sun will ultimately prevail and with that a rainbow will appear in the sky. Our faith in God above will chase away the clouds that hover around us and our faith will prevail over the disheartening trials that try to drench our lives.

Today is a sunny day in Monterrey! Praise the Lord!

Please pray for less pain for Jessica today and praise him always for the continued improvements she is achieving each day!

Till tomorrow,
Jessica's Mom*

Please watch the following music video called:
"Praise You In the Storm" by Casting Crowns

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Small Improvements!

Hola From Monterrey,

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

If I can analyze Jessica's RSD and how it is different than most, it is that her RSD was re-triggered by infection - Lyme Disease - and not by an injury - which seems to be the case for all the other cases we have seen since here in Monterrey. So, when she gets an infection in her body it causes the central nervous system and the immune system to go haywire and with that an elevation of her burning internal RSD pain.

Jessica continues to make the small improvements necessary. Yesterday she received another booster. We were able to sit the bed up a little more! Also, yesterday she was able to eat mashed potatoes! (made with lactose-free milk - as she is highly lactose intolerant) Also, I made her soup with tiny noodles in the microwave (the kind that you make from a package) and she was able to eat that as well! As you know, her J-tube became infected and was taken out two weeks ago. It was noticeably kinked and coiled and indeed was obstructing @ 80% of her intestine! So, the plan now is to slowly introduce soft foods to see how she tolerates them. She is also up to Stage 3 baby foods and is able to eat them with no problems. And, she was able to suck on the Hershey kisses that she received for Valentine's Day as well!

Praise God for these "small steps" which are "huge advances" for Jessica. Praise God also for Dr. Cantu (aka Dr. Green Shirt) - he is simply God-sent, one of those rare type of doctors and we truly love him so! (Jessica has been fortunate to have these type of "special" doctors helping her to get well these past four years! - special shout out to Dr. Liegner, Dr. Finkelstein, Dr. Bottino & Dr. Kirkpatrick - you are all very "special" as well!)

Please continue to pray for Jessica and ask God to help her continue this path of small steps without any more infections or setbacks. Please pray also for a decrease in the pain that she is experiencing. We pray for all of you as well and we ask God to keep you all in his tender loving care!

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

James 5:14-16
"Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up".

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Monday, February 15, 2010


Hi everyone,

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

Yesterday in Hospital San Jose Tec:

Jessica received her "Valentine" presents yesterday. I bought her a balloon and a chocolate bar that said" "I Love You" on it. Dr. Cantu came in at @ 12:30 and gave Jessica two presents as well! First, he gave her a big kiss on her cheek to wish her a happy day (She's such a lucky girl...) and also he gave her another booster while raising the bed a little more to help her body with trying to sit up a little more. I gave Dr. Cantu his present as well - 50 KISSES - Not "real" kisses, but the Hershey's chocolate kisses - half plain/half with almonds. Dr. Cantu loves them. Every time he comes into Jessica's room he manages to eat at least 5 of them!(But whose counting?) By the way, did you know that each kiss contains only 25 calories - so Enjoy them! Also, I handed out kisses to all the nurses who came into Jessica's room yesterday. As soon as word got out that I was handing out "kisses", we saw nurses that we had never seen before!!!(Haha)

Special Thanks:
Special thanks to Dr. Rainbow and her grandson Eugenio who accompanied me to the local H.E.B. (food store) on Saturday. I hired Angeles, one of the "english-speaking" nurses to stay with Jessica, so I could do a "normal" thing and go food shopping! Yes, food shopping! It was very therapeutic for me. I was also able to sample the local mexican cuisine, as they had free samples in each aisle (just like Costco!).

Special thanks to Barbara who came by with delicious sandwiches and a piece of chocolate cake. It's so good to have homemade food. We enjoy her visits very much.

Also, special thanks to Sylvia who came by on Valentine's Day with a heart-shaped cake and other goodies. I shared it with the other family that is here from the states, as well as the nurses. Sylvia is a very special person and we enjoy her company as well - so Thanks again for Always being there Sylvia!

Elana is still here on the 8th floor. She is from Florida and she came out of the coma last Saturday. She and her husband Lance are very nice people and they will probably be here until Dr.Cantu feels she is ready to go home.
Also, another patient, Rachel, from N.Y., was put into the coma yesterday. Please pray for her and her family while she is in the coma.
I have also heard from Fern who returned to Canada after her boosters. She was here last week for 4 days with her friend Kathy. Fern was able to go to the movies with her husband - praise God - small steps - towards the road to recovery. I also heard from Justin and his family, back in Pennsylvania, and from Devon and her family, from Connecticut, she was Jessica's coma buddy, and from Emily, from California, as well. Please pray for these special people as they continue their daily struggles with RSD.

All of the people and families we have met while here in Monterrey, whether they are "coma" patients & families, or just All of the doctors and nurses and wonderful people from Monterrey that we have met while here --- have become very special to us. They help us in so many ways - we are thankful to God for All of the people he has put into our path since we arrived here. God is truly an awesome God who works in mysterious ways for the Good of His people that He Loves!

Romans 1:8:
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for All of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world".
Hebrews 13:2
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it".

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

At 4:00 PM today - Pastor Long from the Union Church visited us once again. I walked out of Jessica's room to greet him and in his hands he had a ziploc bag full of Hershey kisses for Jessica! I asked him if he had read the blog yet today. He said he hadn't! God does work in mysterious ways - and he really does have a sense of humor!!!!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentine's Day to ALL,

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

Jessica and I and our family would like to say thank you to everyone for all the "love" you have shown us throughout this incredible "journey". May you all have a Happy Valentine's Day and may God continue to bless each and every one of you with his amazing love!

You Are Often In Our Thoughts

Love is a command
That Christians are called to do;
Our Lord says "Love your God,
And love your neighbor, too."

Some people are easy to love;
They are human rays of sun;
They light up every life,
And encourage everyone.

You are all in that group,
So we sincerely want to say:
You are often in our thoughts;
Happy Valentine's Day!

In God's love,
The Stevens' Family*

I Corinthians 13:7:

"What is Love? Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

*****GOD IS LOVE*****We Love Because HE First Loved Us.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

"Small Steps...Huge Advances"

Hi to Family & Friends,

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

Whatever your cross,
Whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine,
after the rain.

Perhaps you may stumble,
Perhaps even fall.
But God's always there,
to help you through it all!

Jessica continues to take the "small steps" she needs to take towards the ultimate goal of a better functioning life and one with less pain. Yesterday the plan was not to move her and instead give her body rest. Today she will once again receive a booster and during the booster Dr. Cantu and I will try to raise the head of the bed in order to try and allow her body to get accustomed to sitting up and not have that "fainting/dizzy" feeling that she gets. We will use pillows to prop her up and keep her in the bed this time instead of the reclining chair.

"Small steps --- huge advances" : This is Dr. Cantu's famous saying for all of the coma patients suffering with this horrible disease called RSD. Jessica amazes me every day with her perseverence, courage, and strength! She has been through alot, and she has seen alot of "dark" days. I guess you have to go through the "dark tunnels of life" in order to see the "light that exists" when you go through them --- always knowing that God has been with you all the time, either by holding your hand, or guiding your "steps" and sometimes even "carrying you through"!!!

God truly blessed my husband and I when he entrusted Jessica in our care 22 years ago!

May the peace of God be with you all today,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

"Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them".
Isaiah 42:16

And Jesus said to the disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
Matthew 16:24

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"In the Palms of His Hands...."

"The Praying Hands" by Albrecht Durer

Hi to All,

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

Everyday for the past few months, along with reading the wonderful blog comments to Jessica, I have been reading different inspirational short stories to her to help the time go by and to also help her to focus on something else instead of the constant pain. These stories are simply amazing. They help her to stay focused on the goal ahead and they help her to continue to realize how God truly does have all of us in the "palms of his hands".

Please pray for Jessica today. Since she is finally without fevers and off of antibiotics and only on caspofungin for a candida infection, we tried to move her with the help of the nurses into a reclining chair, albeit for 15-30 minutes at a time. She will be laying down in the chair, as she cannot sit up yet, but at least it is "out of the bed", even if for a little while! This is another "small step" she is trying to take. We will be doing that again today, with the help of ketamine, to help her with the pain and to allow her to be able to stay reclined in the chair for a longer period of time.

I would like to share this one story I read to her yesterday.

ENJOY !, and remember - God does have us all in the
"palms of his hands"!:

* My Brother's Hands *

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer's elder children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy.

Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition.

His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over,


Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly,

"No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look, look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother...for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one, no one, ever makes it alone!

~ Author Unknown ~

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

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Monday, February 8, 2010

38,000 Views of Blog!!! 7,000 Views of YouTube!!!

Hi to our Family & Friends,

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


God has a plan. He has a plan for all of us. God's plan doesn't require a drum roll or a marching band. God doesn't use flashing lights that say to us: "Get Ready - Today is THE Day - Today is the Day I do something Big in your life".

That's not how God does things in our lives. God works simply by stepping into a regular day in our lives and saying what he needs to say --- doing what he needs to do!

God says to us --- "Here's what needs doing, and you're the person who's going to do it, so let's go after it!"

Pray for Jessica today. She knows that God does indeed have a plan for her. She knows the "small steps" she needs to continue to take. She knows that one day, hopefully soon, HE will open that door, reveal His plan, and allow her to move on with a better life! Yesterday she received another booster to help with the burning pain. We were able to wash her hair with water while laying in her bed, instead of using the "shampoo in a cap" type system. These "small steps" forward are necessary. Jessica is definitely a fighter. As she has said many times in the past few months - "I wish I could have a new body - one that is free of pain and sickness". The hope is to bring her home one day with that "new body"!

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jeremiah 29:11

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

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps".
Proverbs 16:9

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength".
Phillipians 4:13

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Special Thanks Today!

Hi To all,

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


On Friday night, February 5, 2010, the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection located in Garden City, NY hosted an Art and Memorabilia auction. The proceeds from this event would be split between supporting the LIFE Church in Westbury, NY and to help support Jessica's Journey and her mounting medical bills.

We would like to thank Pastor Jeff Browning and Vicar Justin Vetrano for bringing this event to the church. We would also like to thank Cindy Scavelli and Laura Wiggens for coordinating and putting the show together. A great job was done by all!

All tickets were sold and there was a standing room only crowd. The auctioneer was humorous and he kept the night moving along. There were some truly valuable art pieces for sale and the audience enjoyed spending their money for two such worthy causes. There were also many house prizes given away. I heard that my daughter Michelle was the one who drew the names for the prizes!

I am told that my husband David bid and won a framed photo of the Beatles taken by Linda McCartney and a large framed lithograph of the Last Supper by Domenico Ghirlandaio circa the year 1479. He is a Beatles memorabilia collector - so I'm not surprised he wanted that! Many other people chose other beautiful pieces of artwork to bring home as well! A fun time was had by all and all for such good causes!

Thanks again to all our friends at Resurrection for putting together this event; and to all those who attended - Thank You from the bottom of our hearts - once again - for all you have done and continue to do for Jessica and our family - it's simply amazing and very humbling - God does work through His people!

In God's Love, Always,
The Stevens' Family*

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Saturday, February 6, 2010


Hi everyone,

Just a quick note:

Jessica received a booster yesterday to help with her increasing pain. She was able to actually get 1 hour of "rest" afterwards, but this morning we had a major problem with her ICU bed in that the alarms went off (Loud sounds-not good with her noise sensitivity) and with that the air system shut down! She is currently being sucked into the bed - please pray - as we are awaiting a new ICU bed as we speak!

Just another day in the Hospital San Jose!

Pray for Fern - she had a booster at the same time as Jessica. Pray that she receives the pain relief she needs.

Pray for Elena - she is coming out of the coma today. May Lance and Abby have the strength needed these next few days.

Thankful to God today for a "normal" problem --- a deflating bed --- nice to know that the world is still "normal" and that some things in life ARE immediately fixable.

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

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Prayers For Today

Hi to All,

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

Prayers For Today:

1. Please pray for Jessica today. Yesterday her J-tube had to be removed due to recurrent infections and the fact that it had become colonized. Another one was not placed at this time in order for the site to heal. She is still on IV TPN for her nutrition and we will try to increase her liquids and intake by mouth. The hope is that we don't have to put another J-tube in, as that will require surgery. Also, please keep praying for her pain to lessen and for the lesions to lessen as well.

2. Pray for Fern Kwantes who arrived here yesterday from Canada with her friend Kathy. She is in the room next to us and is receiving her necessary boosters. Please pray that they help her pain as well.

3. Pray for Elena who is in the coma right now and for her husband Lance and his Mom Abby that are here with her. They stopped by to chat yesterday and brought me coffee - Thanks!

4. Pray for all those afflicted with and still struggling with RSD.

5. Pray for all those afflicted with and still struggling with Lyme disease.

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

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours". Mark 11:24

"You will pray to Him, and He will hear you". Job 22:27

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Question of "WHY?"

Hi everyone,

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

The question of "WHY?" I'm sure all of us have asked that question many times in our lives. We wonder why certain trials and sufferings happen to us. We ask God the question: WHY? This is something that Jessica keeps asking over and over again. It's a question that she asked of Pastor Long from the Union Church, here in Monterrey, when he came to visit her this past Sunday. Why did this happen to me???

The Book of Job in the Bible discusses why innocent people suffer. God cares about people who suffer troubles. And God will help them, although sometimes they must be patient. Job was a good man. But he lost all of his possessions; even his children died! Job became so ill that he wanted to die. But Job refused to insult God. Job's friends thought that he was ill because of his evil deeds. But Job was innocent. God proved to Job and his friends that God is great! That he does care! In the end, God made Job well again and successful!

Please pray for Jessica to continue to have patience and to persevere through this trial! Sometimes it is hard to wait for God to act when everything inside you is screaming for an end to the pain. But God's timing is perfectly perfect. Life isn't always fair and we simply won't always have the answers we seek; we won't always have the answer to the question of "WHY?" Therefore, we have to find our comfort in a God that promises never to abandon us! A God who truly loves us so!

Maybe the answer to the question of "WHY" lies not in what we know in our minds.......Maybe the answer lies in what we feel in our hearts.......

In God's love, always,

Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

Special thanks to Barbara for her insights into the book of Job.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Constitution Day in Mexico

Hi to Our Family & Friends,

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

Today is Constitution Day in Mexico, or "Dia De La Constitucion". It is a Patriotic Holiday here in Mexico.

Traditionally Mexico has celebrated the anniversary of its constitution on February 5th every year, however current Mexican labor law, effective 2006, now establishes that the Mexican Constitution be honored as an official holiday on the first Monday of February, regardless of the actual date. It is one of Mexico’s "Fiestas Patrias" or Patriotic Holidays.

Mexico has had several constitutions during the course of history since its independence from Spain in 1810. These are the Constitution of 1824, the Constitution of 1857 and the Constitution of 1917, which is currently in effect. It was drafted during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921) and officially adopted as the Mexican Constitution on February 5th, 1917.

Special thanks to Barbara for bringing over some homemade sandwiches and muffins. It was good to have something different than hospital food. Also, special thanks to Sylvia who came by with a few items that were needed. Both of these woman are from the Union Church here in Monterrey! They have become my friends and "prayer warriors"! Thanks!

Yesterday a new patient, Elana, from Florida, was put into the ketamine coma in the ICU. It will probably be at least 7-10 days before we see her up on the 8th floor of the hospital. I met her husband Lance and her Mom the other day. They seem like a very nice family. I offered my translating abilities to them and any other support I could possibly offer. I remember what it was like when we first arrived. You are full of so many emotions - scared, excited, worried - but most of all - HOPEFUL! May God bless Elana during these days in the coma.
Also, a former coma patient that we have come to know very well - Fern Kwantes - is due to arrive here on Feb. 4th. May God bless her travels from Canada as she returns for necessary ketamine boosters with Dr. Cantu.

Yesterday, Jessica received another ketamine booster with Dr. Cantu. These boosters are a necessary component in that they help with reinforcing the original coma and also, for Jessica, they help with the pain that she is experiencing and to keep any more lesions from reappearing. Dr. Cantu has called Jessica the Queen of Ketamine in that she requires a large amount ( 1g over 2 hrs.!) We thank God everyday for Dr. Cantu and we pray for God to keep him safe and well. There are days when I don't know how he does it all - he is tireless - and simply amazing! God has truly blessed Jessica with very special doctors these past 4 years!

On another note - we would like to say congratulations to the Lyme disease documentary called "Under Our Skin" and its producer Andy Wilson. It is currently one of the 15 contenders that were nominated from a field of @90 documentaries for an Oscar. Please pray that it makes it to the top 5 in that category and that it ultimately wins the award for Best Documentary! If this happens, it will help to raise awareness about Lyme disease and the effects that it has on those suffering with it, as well as the enormity of this illness as well and the devastation that just like RSD, it can cause! Also, an article about it is currently being featured in People magazine - Feb. 8th issue. The hopes is that thru awareness with documentaries and articles such as these, we too can find a cure and help people get the proper treatments that they need for Lyme disease!

Remember this - As with Jessica's journey - and anyone's journey through their illnesses and trials in life --- We must thank God for his love and protection and know that ultimately every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation! God is in control! God bless you all!

In God's love,
Today and Tomorrow,
Jessica's Mom*

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying: "THIS IS THE WAY, WALK IN IT". Isaiah 30:21

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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!