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!

***To Post A Comment, CLICK on Comments Below***


Anonymous said...

As someone with RSD that also has sound, light and vibration sensitivity ~ I know how huge these accomplishments are and how much courage it takes to keep trying! I've got tears in my eyes. Way to go.

And I'm in awe of your Mom, the way she understands about the sensitivity, that is so rare. People can comprehend pain from an injury or disease...but from a sound? When you are a doctor you should think about having her in your practice as a counselor for people in pain :}

With friendship and encouragement,
Linda Pedigo
West Lafayette, IN

Anonymous said...

No more sunglasses! Sitting up more, starting to listen to soft music, hearing is getting less sensitive, you can SEE, you are eating! More improvements! Praise His Holy Name!

Wow, your list of improvements just keeps getting longer and longer!

You are on your way, Jessica! There are more improvements to come!

May God continue to bless you both and give you the strength to get through each and every day.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Job 6:8
"Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,

Psalm 25:5
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 42:11
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 62:5
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

Romans 5:5
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Anonymous said...

No more sunglasses? Yeah, Jessica keep perservering...you are a blooming miracle and God will continue to strengthen & encourage you with more and more baby steps to giant steps ahead. You know He's with you and He'll keep doing it again and again for you...God bless you and your mom and we keep you lifted up in prayer everyday....
Love and blessings,
John, Angela & the boys xoxoxo

Mary said...

Hi Jessica and Gina,

I was sitting at my computer looking up the article about the Garden City teachers playing the Harlem Wizards in basketball (to see me playing). I went to Garden City Patch.org and Jessica popped up! I have been reading as much as I can to catch up on what you have been going through (I'm at work...) and I am so touched by you and your strength and courage. I am always thinking of you and your whole family. I often mention to the kids that I am thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. We still continue to pray for you and light candles for you in church. I love you and hope that all of the prayers and medicine do what they are supposed to do and make you healthy again. I'm glad that you are making small steps in your recovery! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Mary Freese (That would be Mrs. Freese to you Jessica! :) )

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica,

I am praying for you today. Finally, I got an email off to you so an long overdue email should be waiting in your inbox.

Sending my prayers,

Lindsay Spengler

michelle said...

She used to be my only enemy and never let me be free
Catching me in places that I knew I should'nt be
Every other day I crossed the line I didn't mean to be so bad
I never thought you would become the friend I never had
Back then I didn't know why
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes
All that you did was love
Mama I love you.Mama I care
Mama I love you . Mama my friend. You're my friend
I didn't want to hear it then but I'm not ashamed to say it now
Every little thing you said and did was right for me
I had a lot of to think about,about the way I usedto be
Never had a sense of my responsibility
Back then I didn't know why
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes, all that you did was love
Mama, I love you. Mama, I care
Mama, I love you. Mama ,my friend. You're my friend
But now I'm sure I know why,
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes
All I can give you is love is love
Mama I love you. Mama, I care
Mama, I love you. Mama, my friend,You're my friend
Mama, I love you, Mama ,I care
Mama, I love you, Mama, my friend, You're my friend-spice girls.
love katherine and michelle <3

michelle said...

dear jessica,
you are getting better!! im so happy. God can work in a positive attitude. if you say this will never work God cannot work in that if you say yea it is gonna work God can work in that. do u remember mishack rishack and abendago. when the king threw them in the fire one of the servants said hey didnt we throw 3 guys in there the king said yes we did and then he said look again and there were 4 men one was God he was protecting them from the fire. he was there with them through everything and God is there with you. I love you jessicaaaaaa.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, I too have tears in my eyes as I read about all of the small steps that you are taking, Jess, on the road to recovery! I am so happy for you, and for you too, Gina, as I'm sure your heart dances with each and every step that Jess takes! I am praying from the bottom of my heart night and day that God surrounds you with His healing light and grace. When He is involved, absolutely nothing is impossible... even what human understanding says should be impossible! The secret ingredients of faith and perseverance are what you have in abundance. In fact, you have so much that all our cups runneth over with the joyous witness to God that you write in every blog entry, Gina! You go, girls! By the way, Katherine and Michelle are very special girls in their own rights, as is David, your loving husband and father. What an amazing and blessed family!! Hang in there! Love always, Angel xoxo

Nancy said...

Good Morning Jessica and Sarah Gina! What wonderful news and steps of progress!

There is a circle of love that is surrounding your family from all the families that care for you. And I love how Michelle gave us the visual of how God is by Jessica's side, through her fire, protecting her too. You are all messengers of God's love and we are witnesses of it. It's so apparent how many people WAKE UP with you each morning as we rush to the computer to see what news there is of your journey. Praying constantly for the steps Jessica is making and rejoicing as we hear her progress! I looked in the dictionary today and under LOVE I found your names Jessica and Sarah Gina! Thanks for letting us all into your very special and delicate lives.
With immense love,
Nancy, Joe and the kids

Anonymous said...

I have never known any one to have as much perseverance & strength as the two of you!!! Proof that God works miracles.
Continuing with prayer for all your amazing baby steps to continue.

Fern said...

I have tears and goosebumps! What a wonderful post! Yeah Jessica! These are giant leaps in your life. Praise God and may He continue to give you the strength you need to perservere.

Yesterday, I missed this post as the power on our street went out at 9am (just as the last person left for school) It was not until late afternoon that the power came back on. It was pretty cold in the house as it was a grey and rainy day so no sunshine to warm me. I left and went to a freind's home to wait it out.

I have been learning spanish through podcasts and now that I have listened to the first lessson at least 50 or 60 times, I am finally beginnning to remember some of hte pharases! I will have to practice with you when I get ther enext week.

May God give you strength today, and may you feel His love and compassion for you each day.

See you soon

Anonymous said...

Hey Jessica, you are so amazing. Keep up the good work. When you come home I want Kirsten to sing her favorite aria, Costa Diva from Norma. It is so amazing and you would love it. She promises to sing it softly!! HA HA. Hugs and kisses, Bonnie

Madelon said...

Hi Jessica and Gina,
I am so happy to hear about these small steps! No more sunglasses! How wonderful! The next time you wear sunglasses, it will be while you are walking on the beach, enjoying the sunshine. And now wearing just earplugs...fantastic! I pray that your sensitivities to light and noise continue to lessen. I also pray that your pain decreases also, Jessica.
I had my first session of PT today and was shown exercises to do to strengthen my leg muscles after my hip surgery. Thankfully, I don't have pain and I am getting around with a walker. Thank you Gina for asking about me through Pastor Browning.
I pray for God to continue to give you strength, Gina and for Jessica to continue to make these small steps towards her recovery. May God bless you and your family!

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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!