Friday, April 9, 2010

DR. "PATCH" ADAMS VISITS JESSICA!!!

Hi To Everyone,

Yesterday was a very special day for Jessica.

Let me start from the beginning......I received a call that Dr. "Patch" Adams was coming to the Hospital San Jose Tec to deliver a speech and he was going to visit with some patients while here. I managed to meet him on the 3rd floor which is pediatrics and briefly told him about Jessica and her being here for 7 months. He asked specifically for her room number and said he would come up to see her.


We waited with anticipation for his arrival and yes he showed up, in all his "clown" get-up. You see if you remember he is the doctor that was featured in the movie "Patch Adams" with Robin Williams. "Patch" believes in using humor with patients and having that "special connection" through humor and happiness! Dr. Patch Adams is the founder and director of Gesundheit! Institute, a model of community and medicine that embraces the importance of care, creativity, and fun.


So, in he walks and proceeds straight over to Jessica's bed and asks if he could hold her hand - she says yes. He then starts to ask Jessica about herself and why she is here. As she starts to recount her "story", he is amazed at all that she has been through and says to Jessica that she is a true miracle and that her story needs to be told! He asks her who is responsible for this "miracle" and she says: "God and Dr. Cantu!" With that he says "I want to meet this Dr. Cantu". So I run out of the room to get Dr. Cantu who just happened to be on the floor with another patient Fern.


In walks Dr. Cantu and he shakes hands with Dr. Patch Adams. They begin to talk about Jessica and her history and prognosis and he then congratulates Dr. Cantu for his "amazing work" with Jessica. We all clapped for Dr. Cantu and I will say it was really very special to honor him in that way!


I then asked to take a picture of the two "doctors". "Patch" said to "Cantu" - "Let's make it a funny picture Dr. CAN-DO" Here is the picture:


I will say that he stayed with Jessica for at least 20 minutes. He really wanted to talk with her, hear her story, and connect with her. He then began to recite this poem by Emily Dickinson called "Hope Is The Thing With Feathers". In a strange coincidence, the quote for the day on Jessica's message board was all about Hope! Here is the poem he recited to her:

Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

(Emily Dickinson defines hope by comparing it to a bird).


As he was getting ready to leave he asked for our address as he wants to send Jessica an autographed copy of one of his books and also one of his clown noses. We then marched out of her room as we followed him down the hall with seven of us all together in a giant pair of underwear that he brought along with him and me in his chicken hat. As we went down the hall we quickly stopped in Fern's room and then in Elena's room as well. As we then followed him down the hallway towards the nurses station there were people and patients all lined up on both sides of the hallway- some standing, some in wheelchairs, some young, some old, cheering him on!!! It was truly a special day and another "chapter" for the book and story of Jessica's Journey" to be told!

Till then...................


With love and a smile,
Sarah Gina & Jessica*


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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing! The pictures were great - it was so wonderful to see Jessica SMILING!

Anonymous said...

hi jessica I hope you feel happy for the visit of Dr.Path Adams I ready funny, and I only want to say YOU CAN!!!! your are a wonderful persons and your mom too, thanks for teach me the value of the life!!! love. angeles nurse

Anonymous said...

I want to say I read your story with tears in my eyes as I see Jessica smiling back at Dr Patch Adams.
I love to read each time you have news about Jessica. All of our love and HOPE and prayers for Jessica.

John and Rosemary said...

Hi Jessica and Sarah,

Fantastic! Dr. "Patch" Adams brought you his smile and then you smiled and then you spread that smile from Mexico all the way here to Pennsylvania, U.S.A.!

Thank you for your inspiratioal story. We dare to say that Dr. Patch was as moved by your courage and strength as we have been.

Thanks for a wondeful story. We loved the funny picture of "Patch" and Dr. Cantu!

Love,

Rosemary & John

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, Happy Easter! I loved the story about Dr. Patch Adams and his special visit. And... the picture where JESSICA IS SMILING AND LAUGHING WITH PATCH ADAMS IS SO VERY BEAUTIFUL!!! Jess, YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!!!! You look like yourself in that picture!! Seeing that made my heart about burst with happiness and gratitude!! And the fact that Patch could hold her hand, and you could see him and not need the sunglasses, and you could hear him and not need the noise-canceling headphones, and you could laugh and joke with him...MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!! And Gina, I can just picture you laughing and cheering down the hall with new friends in a giant pair of underwear and a chicken hat!! That warms my heart!! Thanks be to a Great God who has been there with you all along!!! May the small steps continue every day in your journey back to wellness!!! Love always, Angel xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Joanne and Nancy said...

Bravo from Joanne and Nancy in Charlotte!

What a wonderful picture of Jessica laughing and smiling at what love was flowing that special day!! Thanks Dr. Patch Adams!!! Thanks Sarah Gina for sharing. Thanks GOD for the love!!!

Joanne wants to know where to get a pair of those pants. She has missions to fulfill and laughs to spread too. XOXO

We are at a health conference in NC and what we love is the health story that is unfolding in front of our eyes with Jessica!!
Praise God and Thanks!!!
Love Joanne & Nancy

Jeff said...

Seeing Jessica SMILING makes my day =)
I check this blog everyday and am so glade Jessica is showing some signs of improvement.
Hang in there Jessica!!!!!

I am so Glade You made it to Dr. Cantu!!!!

MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello ladies!

I just read your blog from yesterday -- what a wonderful day and memory! Jessica, we were so all so happy to see you. The photos were terrific and you, my dear, are beautiful! You look wonderful . . . absolutely wonderful -- and what a smile! We can see that these small steps you are taking look like they have amounted to many big leaps! Keep up the stepping and you will be running soon.

And Dr. Cantu . . . what an amazing man!

Love to you and your mom!
With our love -- The Klatt Gang XO

Anonymous said...

What an awesome day! I LOVED the picture of Cantu and Patch Adams with their tongues out. You guys must have gotten a kick out of that! What an awesome break to the daily day and and day out of life.

Praying for you always,

Lindsay

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

It's so good to see you smiling!! I love you so much and I am so happy to see you getting better. I love you too Mrs. S!
XO
Ash

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyn Weiner said...

What a cool story! I loved the movie "Patch Adams" and am in awe that you met him. How could he not be touched by Jessica???? Thanks for sharing the story and pictures.


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!