Saturday, March 20, 2010


Dr. Cantu in action

Hi To All,

Special Reminder:

Tomorrow will be Jessica's First Blog in honor of Dr. Cantu's Birthday!!!

We are trying to get well wishes for Dr. Cantu from ALL for his special day.

If you are a former coma patient, a fellow RSD sufferer, or wish to send your thanks to him for ALL he has done for Jessica and others, please feel free to post a comment to this blog!!! When he arrives tomorrow to see Jessica, we will have him read all of his birthday blessings on the computer!!!

Please join us to help celebrate Dr. Cantu's special day tomorrow and Jessica's first blog posting in his honor!!!

Here is something I wrote for him:

Dear Dr. Cantu,

God gave a gift to the world when you were born. You are a special doctor who loves and cares, who sees a patient's needs and fills it, who encourages and lifts people up, who spends energy on others rather than himself, who touches each life he enters and makes a real difference in their world. May the love you have shown to us and to others return to you in abundance today and everyday!

Dr. Cantu, one of the most important gifts that a doctor can give his patients is HOPE. By so doing you thereby inspire in that patient a deep conviction that their inner strength can make a difference in their struggle against pain and suffering. This is what you have done for Jessica and ALL of your coma patients here at the Hospital San Jose Tec! There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how thankful we are and how special you have become to us!

It is clear that God created you for a great purpose! May you know how very much you are loved! From one "grateful" Mom, I hope you have a birthday today that is as wonderful and special as you are!!!

Con mucho amor, with much love,

Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom) xoxoxo

Feliz Cumpleanos Dr. Fernando Cantu Flores!!!



Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Cantu!

We have not had the pleasure of meeting but I have heard wonderful things about you from some of my fellow RSD suffers.

We cannot thank you enough for the work you, Dr. Kirkpatrick and Dr. Schwartzman are doing on behalf of the many people afflicted with CRPS. It is a difficult ailment to treat and we are grateful for your dedication and commitment to helping your patients when there are so few places to turn to for help.

May God continue to bless your efforts and your family and give you the strength and wisdom to care for your patients. Your contributions extend far beyond your own patients and provide a hope you may never fully appreciate but please continue doing what you are doing. You are God’s mercy in action.

Que Dios le bendiga.

The Turners

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dr. Cantu!

I'd definitely have to second what Mrs. Steven's has written. You have been such an answer to prayer for so many people that have been abandoned and told there was no hope. When we were told this they had no idea that our hope was in Monterrey, Mexico and his name was Dr. Cantu. God put you on this earth for a great and magnificant purpose and you have touched more lives than you will ever know. Even my grandparents always ask about you. As we have always said, if every doctor had even one ounce of Dr Cantu in them, this world and entire medical system would be a far better place.

Thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for never saying never. This is one coma patient who's life will never be the same after meeting you and has been touched forever. Don't ever forget how much you are loved.

We love you!

Lindsay Spengler
Coma patient #7

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!