Sunday, March 28, 2010


Blessings to All,

It should come as no surprise that in Mexico, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, Easter is the most widely celebrated and important religious holiday of the year. Semana Santa (Holy Week) begins today with Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and it ends next Sunday with Domingo de Gloria (Easter).

Here in Mexico the faithful join in a special mass which includes the blessings of the palm fronds or crosses. A large procession commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem often precedes the mass. Some of the blessed palms are later burned and the ashes are reserved by the church for Ash Wednesday services the following year.

For all Christians, Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the glorious entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. Palm Sunday, or "Passion Sunday" marks the beginning of Holy Week. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches , and by covering his path with them. Immediately following this celebration in the ministry of Jesus - he began his journey to the Cross.

May you all have a blessed Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) today!
Thank you all for your continued prayers for Jessica and our family!

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

John 12:12:
"On the next day much people came to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem - They took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried: HOSANNA: Blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord!"

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Fern said...

Thanks for the lesson this morning. I like to hear how others are celebrating. Will you be able to see any processions from your window? That woudl certainly be neat to see!

I will be at church and we will celebrate as well. Often the children are given real or paper palm branches to wave and their procession begins at the back of the church and winds up to the front. It always looks so nice when they are all waving. The spirit of the childrne reflect the joy that must have been there the first time this was ever done! What a celebration that must have been!

May you feel Jesus in your room today. May you feel His presence, his gentleness and his healing touch.

Sending you lots of love today

Anonymous said...

May we all have the courage to prepare for Easter by preparing this Holy Week.
Peace and love,
Linda in Saratoga

Nancy said...

Hi ladies, what a wonderful service we had yesterday. Looked for David and Michelle but didn't see them. The choir did a special musical on the church steps! It was a beautiful sound. God is so to us and has Jessica in the PALM of his hand. I thank him for holding her tight and healing her!

With Love from Marco Island.
PS: We had a huge storm last night. Washing away all the tears so new health can come to Jessica... I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

When reading Psalm 91, I think of Jessica-her strength, her faith, her grace. "Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him; I will exalt him because he knows My name. When he calls out to ME, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor. I will satisfy him with a long life and show My salvation." May there be many blessings for Jessica today! Crystal

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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!