Friday, March 19, 2010


Hi To All,


This Sunday - March 21st - is Dr. Cantu's (aka Dr. "Green Shirt") Birthday!!! He will be 46 years young!!!

Tomorrow, I will be posting a special message to him and then on Sunday - his actual birthday - Jessica will be posting her first blog since the coma in honor of his special day!!!

If anyone would like to send him a special message via this blog for his birthday, you can either leave a comment tomorrow - (Saturday), or on Sunday, his actual birthday.

I will then have him read all of his well wishes from the blog when he comes to the hospital to see Jessica.

So, if you are a former coma patient, a fellow RSD sufferer, or someone who wishes to thank him for ALL he has done for Jessica, please feel free to leave him a comment on the blog.

Dr. Cantu is an amazing doctor who treats each and every one of his patients with such warmth, compassion and care!!!
Jessica's Journey would not have been possible without him!!!

Please help us wish this very special man - our dear Dr. Cantu - a very special birthday!!!

I'm Hoping to get a lot of birthday messages on the blog for him!!!

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

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


Anonymous said...

Dr. Cantu
As a fellow March birthday I know how wonderful you are!
Thanks for using all God's gifts with the special talent He gave you and aiding our special Jessica to have all these wonderful baby steps towards recovery.
May you be older and wiser!
God bless
Linda in Saratoga

Nancy said...

Dr. Cantu
Happy Birthday from Nancy, the girl on the floor! AKA "The Verve Energy Lady".

You have touched so many lives with your heart and hands and health practices.

Thanks for keeping up that grand mission of getting Jessica well and home! You are loved!

Buenos Dias

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah and Jessica,

I will be waiting with great anticipation for your first blog, Jess! How exciting that you feel both well enough and that you want to honour your doctor in this way. That in itself, speaks a lot to the kind of man he is that you would want to celebrate his day this way.

Dr Cantu shares his birthday wiht my odest neice, so that will help me to remember. :) He also shares this week with my husband, whose birthday is Wednesday. They are the same age! That was a very good year! I feel blessed to have met both men.

I will write something to DR Cantu. I had originally planned to send him an email but if you, Sarah, are going to be collecting the messages for him, this will be a great venue. I hope he gets many great messages to prove to him what an honour it is to know him. Thanks for planning this.

Hope the day goes well today and that today you feel God's steadfast presence in your room


Harv and Kathy said...

Jessica and Sarah,
What a great way to celebrate Dr. Cantu's birthday- with Jessica writing the blog! What a BIG step! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
To Dr. Cantu- Thank you for all that you do. For your compassionate heart, for your talented skill in doctoring, for your wisdom that goes beyond the facts to the heart of the matter, and for your patience and love. May this birthday be special for you and hopefully for time with you family as well. You have a wonderful wife and I was glad to have met her briefly. May this year be blessed by God so that you may continue to use your God-given gifts in His service and to the service of all of your patients.
Kathy Roosma- Fern's friend

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 40:31

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Anonymous said...

Your first blog! Small steps, huge advances! You have come along way!

We look forward to reading your blog.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

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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!