Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Grace of God

Hi to our family and friends,

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Please pray for Jessica today. She has been receiving her boosters and they have certainly helped her by alleviating some of her pain, so that she can continue to take the necessary forward steps. At the same time, there are those days when it can be difficult because you want to be able to have all the answers. You want to see what lies ahead. You feel that maybe if you could somehow just "know"........... then "today" could be that much more bearable.

Pray for her to feel God's grace in her life today.

The grace of God is a promise that, when you can barely cope with today, you can live with the power to believe that things can be better tomorrow. God's grace promises us that you can trust in Him to have a better tomorrow for you than the day you have made for yourself! There is a power in grace that says to us that it is OK to admit that it is sometimes "all wrong", but that somehow it can one day, hopefully, be "all right". This is one reason why we call it "amazing grace" - because grace works against the grain of common sense - out of the earthly realm and into His divine providence!!!

Thank you all for continuing your prayers for Jessica.
We pray that God's grace will also abound for all of you today!
Pray also for Fern - our dear friend - who is getting her boosters and also for a new patient - Kerri - that is in the coma right now.

With God's grace,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*

Great Links to 2 songs about "Amazing Grace"

Ephesians 2:8
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God".
(This was Jessica's confirmation verse!)
IPeter 5:10

"And the God of all grace...after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you & make you strong, firm & steadfast".
(This verse is on Jessica's wall at home!)

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


Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica and Gina,
We will continue to pray. As the Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Keep on taking those small steps of progress.
With love,
Linda Wardley

Anonymous said...

On Sunday, the priest said"now let us pray for those you have asked us to pray for them, and for those that need our prayers"
As always you are included in my prayers.
I pray everyday to know whether it is better that Roger's mom stay with us or whether all would be better if she were in a home. Up until December I knew she was better with us, but now I just don't know! So that is one of my crosses for now.
We all have our crosses and it is always nice when we help each other. May your Guardian Angels help you lighten your crosses today.May they give you insight as to God's plan. May the Blessed Mother hold you in her arms and give you peace and love.
Peace from Saratoga,

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica & Gina --

Sending warmest wishes from home and wanting you both to know how you are a part of so many people's EVERY DAY! With each check of your blog -- there is love, prayers, warm wishes, hopeful thoughts and the most sincere, heartfelt want for news that your day is better than the one before.

Jessica, we are so happy to hear of all the "small steps" you have made . . . as they say "slow & steady wins the race" & you will most certainly win this race! Keep up all those small (yet gigantic) steps towards that finish line!

With love from a few of your countless cheerleaders -- The Klatt Family

Anonymous said...

Praying for you Jessica. It is truly difficult to continue to push through, day after day, when you body is so tired and you feel so sick.

One of my recent favorite songs ("Arms that Hold the Universe by Steve Fee) says: "The arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight. You can rest inside, it will be alright. Cause the voice that calms the raging seas are calling you tonight... You can hope, you can rise, you can stand, He's got the whole world, the whole world in his hands..."


It is my prayer for you tonight that you can rest, and feel the strength in the arms that hold you tonight. That the strength to continue to tomorrow doesn't have to come from within yourself, it comes from one far greater. And from a source that is always, always stronger than anything we are dealing with.

Love always,


Anonymous said...

I am having one of those days today too! If somehow we could just "know" then today would be more bearable!

To which someone replied: Then why would we need faith?

Jessica, I know this is a difficult road but we just need to trust and move forward. We pray that tomorrow will be a better day!

Try to focus on how far you have come and know that more improvements are coming!

May God give you the grace to persevere.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray for her. When I pray for Jessica, I think of "footprints in the sand." If you have never heard this story, let me know and I will email it :) Crystal

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, When I try to picture grace, I envision a gentle and protective hug in God's loving and encircling arms. It doesn't necessarily change the circumstances at that moment, but it is a reaffirmation that you are loved so much, and that you are not bearing the burden alone, and to keep on being patient and faithful. The faith that you have is so important because it is giving God the opportunity to work in your life. You are open to receiving His gifts and appreciate each little and big gift that comes. The amazing patience that you have is what enables you to hang in there. Sometimes "hanging in there" is just making it through the day by the skin of your teeth, but it still counts! Hang in there, and know that I will continue to pray for you both, as well as for David, Katherine and Michelle! Love always, Angel xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

快樂是你與生俱來的權力,它不應該取決於你完成什麼。 ........................................

Anonymous said...

Lakewood Church
Better Than Life lyrics

Your love is everlasting
It's an everlasting love
Your mercy is as new
As every rising of the sun
And Your loving kindness
Loving kindness
Is better than life

Your grace is all-sufficient
It's an all-sufficient grace
Your power and Your glory
Are forever on display
And Your loving kindness
Loving kindness
Is better than life

Oh, it's better
Oh, better than life
Oh, so much better
Jesus, Your loving kindness
Is better than life

Fairest of ten thousand
Of ten thousand You are fair
And nothing in this world
Could ever measure or compare
To Your loving kindness
Loving kindness
Is better than life

All your ways are just Oh Lord
You're just in all Your ways
And I will lift my hands Oh Lord
With gratitude and praise
For Your loving kindness
Loving kindness
Is better than life


Jesus, Your loving kindness
Is better than life itself
Better than life itself
Jesus, Your loving kindness
Is better than life itself
Better than life


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!