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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Jessica's Journey to Getting Her Life Back
By Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)
As we begin this journey toward renewed health we would like to express our sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick and all the work he has done and continues to do in order to bring patients like my daughter Jessica back to a more meaningful life and restored from this devastating illness. Also, special thanks to Dr. Fernando Cantu and his team of doctors in Mexico for taking on a difficult case like my daughters, Words cannot express the renewed sense of hope that we have that one day, our Jessica, can regain her life that has been taken away from her – God Bless you all!
Once an A+ student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, played varsity tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, our daughter Jessica has spent the last 3 years incapacitated, paralyzed, unable to sit or walk and eat. She spends her days confined to a hospital bed, wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, due to severe light and sound sensitivity.
The pain she feels is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving her suffering.
She has seen many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed various medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. She is severely debilitated and currently is only 92 pounds. This is certainly no life for a 21 year old young woman!
Jessica is suffering from neurologic Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severely debilitating and painful neuromuscular disorder. She suffers daily with constant sharp, stabbing, tingling and burning pain; throughout her body; severe headaches; paralysis; intense muscle spasms; gastroparesis; seizures; twisting of her limbs (dystonia); sensitivity to any touch (allodynia); extreme sensitivity to lights and sounds; excessive sweating; swelling; fevers; softening of bones; decreased hair growth; redness and discoloration of the limbs; and painful skin ulcers. The pain is constant and unrelenting, but despite her suffering, her faith in God remains and she still has hope for her future.
Jessica's journey began in 1999, when she was only 11 years old. She became very ill with Mono and was bed bound for 3 months. She subsequently developed RSD (stage 1) of the lower right leg. She received early intervention and returned to playing sports and enjoying her life.
Four years later, in 2003, while away at a sleep-away camp, she developed a rash behind her right knee, coincidentally in the same leg that previously had RSD!
At the time, the camps nurse & doctor told her that it was “duck rash” – a rash from swimming in the lake with duck feces. However, Jessica was able to obtain photos from camp from another camper which shows the classic “bulls-eye” rash from Lyme disease! It wasn’t until much later and only after developing symptoms and becoming very ill, was the diagnosis of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (another tick-borne infection) made.
Most people (and doctors!) have no idea how serious Lyme disease can become and no clue how to properly diagnose it. Unfortunately, if she would have been promptly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, the RSD would not have been triggered and she would not be suffering.
If it wasn’t for her doctor, Dr. Liegner, and his expertise with complex cases of Lyme, and his determination to try any means in getting her well, by getting a “team” of doctors on her case, we wouldn’t be here today, still fighting. We owe him a deep sense of gratitude for all he does for Jessica!
During these past three years and with the pain becoming more intense and unbearable she has been seeing Dr. Finkelstein for pain management. He has even made house calls to spare her the pain of coming by ambulance to his office. Jessica has been treated with multiple pain medications, at the highest possible doses, as well as an implanted dilaudid pain pump, which delivers potent medication straight into her spine. Many doctors have told us that with the amount of medications Jessica was taking would be enough to “kill a horse”—yet they had little to no effect on her. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finkelstein trying to alleviate her constant, severe, unrelenting pain, I don’t know how she would have managed. He is very special to us as well.
Recently Jessica was transported by air ambulance to Tampa, Florida to see Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Kirkpatrick told us that Jessica is one of the most debilitated patients he has ever seen.
Upon his testing and because Jessica's condition is so severe, Dr. Kirkpatrick is recommending the only treatment available that can possibly help relieve her suffering, and afford her some semblance of a “normal” life - the Ketamine Coma Procedure - a clinical trial that is being conducted in Monterrey, Mexico.
During this procedure Jessica will be put into a coma , with the hope that her nerves, brain and spinal cord will “reset” -so that her nervous system sends the correct signals to her brain.
Yes, this is a radical, scary treatment, however, for Jessica, "scary" is thinking that she could spend the rest of her life in this condition, unable to walk, eat, or take care of herself. Since all reasonable treatments have failed to help her, we feel we must try everything possible to help Jessica regain her life.
We understand that due to Jessica’s fragile condition, there is a high risk associated with this procedure. We are also aware that other patients with severe RSD like Jessica's have had success.
Jessica’s goal is to one day become a doctor. Our hope is that with this study she can have that chance. As her Mom, I know that she will be a great doctor because when a patient presents in her office and says “Doctor, I am in pain and words cannot express how bad it is” – my daughter –Dr. Jessica– will be able to say - :I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. So, take a seat and let me tell you a story”….
We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have been led to Dr. Kirkpatrick.
God is good and with his help guiding Dr. Cantu and Dr. Kirkpatrick, our hope is for Jessica to be able to return to us whole again and pain-free!