Sunday, April 18, 2010


Good morning to All,

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This is today's quote on the message board in Jessica's room:
"Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful!" Anonymous

We all face challenges on a daily basis. When we face these challenges or sometimes even impossibilities we need to persevere and hand them over to God with the knowledge and confidence that only comes from Him.

In those times, we need to say, "Lord, I'm carrying around something I cannot handle. Please take this challenge off my hands, as only You are capable and willing. It's impossible for me, Lord, but it is as nothing to You!"

Jessica continues with her day to day challenges. She has certainly accomplished so much and come so far in this journey that began with that first step - the coma. When you look back and see how far she has come, it is so very humbling. God has truly been with her and with me as well.

The other day we had a good chuckle. As you know, with the help of the nurses we have been moving her from the bed to the nearby couch. Just the mere sight of Jessica finally out of the bed - was looked upon as a major accomplishment. The nurses were slowly streaming into the room and praising Jessica. They equate wellness with being out of the bed. We chuckled because we said that if they had a drum they would have been playing it as they entered her room. As Jessica said: "Mom, they are more excited about moving me on a couch, instead of ALL the other more momentous challenges that I have overcome, like being able to see again, eat again, no sunglasses, no headphones, no lesions currently re-appearing, I can move my left leg, etcetera...."

And she is so right. She has come such a long way. God is good.

Please pray for Jessica and her daily challenges.
Please pray for the pain to lessen.
Please pray for all people suffering with illnesses.
Please pray for Devon who is here for dental problems and boosters.
Please pray for Dr. Cantu and his unwavering commitment to Jessica.

We pray for all of you as well. May God help you all with your daily challenges!
To God be all the honor and glory and praise!

"Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain!"
I Corinthians 15:58

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

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


Anonymous said...

I was reading last night and I thought I would share this verse with you both.

Romans 5:5
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Jessica, your journey has been one of unending hope, amazing faith and incredible perseverence.

It was a journey that began with hope - hope that this could be better. It continues with faith that God will get you through. And perseverence that allows you to take all those small steps forward which, in turn, will become huge advances.

We celebrate with you ALL the momentous challenges you have overcome and all the smalls ones too! Even the move to the couch (you are doing well enough to withstand all that jostling and moving around and the pressure of the blanket against your back - which is not insignificant).

We think and pray for you often throughout the day. We praise Him often for all the wonderous works He has done in your lives.

May He continue to bless you with perseverence to get through every day and may you continue to see many more improvements.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess,

Yes, indeed you have made such progress. I know that sometimes the day to day struggles can overshadow those huge steps you have made and it is easy to loose perspective when you are dealing with so much. It's great you guys are choosing to focus on the positives, I know that is what got us through. I remember we used to compare the current day, and all the progress that had been made, to several weeks or months ago when I was in Mexico. Though sometimes the steps seemed so small, when we started comparing those steps to where I was just a few short months ago, suddenly, we realized the progress was being made. We chose to pay attention to all the good, and not all the trails and obstacles ahead. As I am sure you guys know, perspective is key.

Praying for you.

In His great love,


Nancy said...

Good morning ladies! Special hi to Devon and her family too!

Isn't it sweet how we are all ONE BIG FAMILY...and care so much for each other. Everytime I read how you pray for all of us each day it reminds me of how God shines in the many actions of the person. Sarah Gina you and Jessica are God's love in action!

Special prayers today for relief from the pain and ease in making the trip to the couch and then HOME! Jessica, can't you just see how nice it will be... soon.. with you and Devon SIT'ting on the couch chatting and laughing about how CUTE Dr. Cantu is!!!

With love and kisses,
Nancy and Joe

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, Good morning! I am so happy to read of your trip to the couch, Jess. Of all the trips you have made in your life, did you ever think that the one to the couch would be of such importance? And yet, it is!! Judging from the photos of the underwear parade when Patch Adams was there, I'm sure those wonderful nurses (and your amazing mom!) would have indeed been playing the drum and whatever else they could get their hands on at that special time!! As much as the Hospital San Jose Tec is a place of difficult challenges, it is also a place of JOY!! Thank God for Dr. Cantu and Dr. Rainbow, all the nurses and the wonderful staff there as well for all their expertise, caring and support. Hang in there, ladies. God is working miracles in your life. We are all witnesses to them through the blog. We continue to surround you and support you with prayer, and we love you with all our hearts. Keep up the good work!! Love always, Angel xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxxo

Anonymous said...

So many of us take so much for granted. When I had that appendix attack and couldn't walk, and then 3 days later i was back in the hospital for 10 days and it took 10 weeks to get me back to work, therapy 3 times a week.
And here you are for years having faith in the Lord. And while you are working so hard to get better and both of you a such an inspiration to all of us.
Those that seek out your blog so they understand that they are not alone in their pain,
Thank you for being our angels.
love from saratoga

Anonymous said...

There's a light at the end of the tunnel!



Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

Anonymous said...

Interesting name .... Donnadieu

In french that would "Give to God"

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!