Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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Hola From Monterrey,

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Spring Fling Fashion Show Luncheon
Tomorrow - Thursday March 25th - 11:00 - 2:00 PM
Marco Island Lutheran Church
525 North Collier Blvd.
Marco Island, Fl. 34145
$5.00 Donation for luncheon
All Proceeds will benefit Jessica's Journey Savings Club!

For Additional Info:
Please contact Nancy Sustersic @(239)394-5051
Everyone is invited to attend!

Special thanks to Dodie Meister from the Marco Lutheran Church and Valorie Morris of Jewels of Park Lane
for making this possible! Special thanks to TEAM JESSICA!


It was discovered yesterday that Jessica has a candida infection once again and so she was put on an IV medication called caspofungin for 10 days. Her neurodermatitis on her upper body seems better, but the face is still not there yet, so she continues on oral antibiotics and antibiotic cream for that.
Today she will receive a big booster to help with some increasing pain.

Special thanks once again to Barbara for the homemade spaghetti she brought to the hospital for us. Jessica was able to eat cut-up spaghetti for the first time in years - another "small step" - but a huge one!

Robert Collier once wrote: " Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out!"
May God continue to bless Jessica and may He be with her always. May God be beside her, in front of her, behind her, and at times carrying her as well!!!

"The Lord is with me. He is my Helper". (Psalm 118:7)

"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." (Hebrews 13:5)

May God be with you all today as well,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

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


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for good friends there in Mexico and for quick acting doctors! Glad they caught the infection and can deal with it. I sure hope the booster goes well tody.

last night, we went to a freind's house to book our flights because he is donating air miles. If we do it online we cannot actually get there from here! lol. i wonder how I have done it so far? We tried to call and get them to do it over the phone but by the time that we had tried online and then to the phone, they had closed. Hoping he can do it today with the information I left him.

Rest easy, both of you. Your verse today is so perfect! Sending up pryaers for a speedy recovery, more italian meals for Sarah and Jessica to enjoy and warmest hugs your way from all of us here!


Anonymous said...

I know you both think I forgot you BUT thats not true. I have been dealing with workmen in my house for a new bathroom and OMG what a mess!!!!! I want you both to know that I am always thinking of you and I know that Jessica is improving as we speak. Jessica, you are an amazing person. Hugs and kisses to you both!!! love, Bonnie

Team Jessica said...

Hi Jessica, gosh you always know your body so well. Always know when you need some extra help. Glad they caught the infection fast.

So exciting about the spaghetti! Great advances you are making!

We are very excited about the Fashion Show tomorrow!! Your Aunt and Gramma have at least 36 of the 80 or so attending. We'll pray for standing room only!! What a wonderful family you have.

Our God is soooo good! I'm glad he and Mom and Dr. Green Shirt are in charge of taking care of you.
Love Nancy & Joe

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica, Spaghetti, Skype, smiling and laughing... more small (but HUGE) steps!! Put on your sneakers, girl, 'cause you are on that road to recovery!! (And of course, who can resist smiling at the sight of Molly break dancing!!) It's awesome that you are enjoying Italian food again, since your mom is so good at making it!! ;) I am so thankful your new friends down there in Monterrey are taking such good care of you. As we all know, God knows the smallest details of your life- and is taking care of you through lovely caring people (especially your mom!!!!) We are all so proud of your efforts and the results are amazing!! I pray that the big booster tomorrow helps take away the pain that you are having. Hang in there!! Tell your mom I said hi!! Love always, Angel xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Hey Jessica!

Nice! Spaghetti! I remember when I was finally given the okay to eat anything that I wanted. The first thing they brought me was pancakes. Do you know I order pancakes for three meals a day for at least four days? Finally Mom said to me, "Why don't you try something else?" She said I looked at her with this puzzled face and said, "Like what????" Mom response was, "Well, you used to like Bacon, what about Bacon?" WIth this surprised, excitement I couldn't contain I was like, "BACON! I used to LOVE bacon!" This went on for like 5 minutes discussing all the things I could now eat that I had forgotten about. Raw carrots, mashed potatoes, and the list went on. How exciting to be able to taste something so "normal" yet something that we haven't been able to eat in such a long time! Congrats!

Praying for you and that the pain is dramatically reduced with this last booster!

In His Great Love,


Anonymous said...

Homemade spaghetti - YUMMY! Don't you just love the way God provides! :)

Jessica, we hope that you are feeling some pain relief from your last booster and that you will continue the small steps forward.

May you feel His loving arms wrapped around you as you continue your journey.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Hebrews 1:14

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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!