Friday, June 25, 2010

Settling Into Our "Home Away From Home"...

Hi to Everyone,

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

Sorry it has taken me so long to write about what has happened these past days.

Jessica left the hospital last Saturday at around 6:00 PM. She was brought to the apartment via ambulance and stretcher. Dr. Cantu instructed the paramedics to proceed very slowly and gave them explicit instructions on how to manage Jessica during the trip. He also gave her ketamine to ease the transition from hospital to "home". The ride would normally take only 5 minutes, but because of the special precautions, it took us 45 minutes.

The first thing Jessica noticed as she was wheeled out on the stretcher, was how warm it felt outside and how windy it was. You can imagine, this was her first breath of fresh air in 10 months!

When we arrived at the apartment Jessica was still under the effects of the ketamine. She later told me that I had done a great job and that the apartment was beautiful. We were helped to the apartment by Dr. Rainbow and her husband Dr. Zavala. We were also visited by Pastor Long and his wife Sue, Sylvia and her daughter Christine and her friend Fran. They brought along a dessert & fruit basket, and also special blessings for our "home away from home". Our new friend Lalio Chandler, also stopped by with special well wishes for us as well!

From Jessica's room she can see the majestic mountains called "La Sierra de La Silla" because of how the central portion of the mountain range resembles a chair or "silla". At night, when the city of Monterrey is all lit up, it truly takes your breath away! I got to sleep in a bed for the first time in 10 months --- it seemed very big to me, as I had gotten "used to"sleeping on the sofa.

Jessica is currently on a special hospital bed that was lent to us by another new friend and fellow RSD sufferer - Olga. Her husband and friend Blanca delivered it personally to Jessica at the apartment.

We truly have some much to be thankful for! God is good!

These past few days have not been without struggles. As much as it is a major milestone for Jessica, it is also a very big change and one that she, as well as I, have been trying to get used to. When you have spent 10 months in a hospital, it stands to reason that the adjustment to "outside life" would not come smoothly. As with everything else in life, it will take some time.

Dr. Cantu has been wonderful, as always, in helping Jessica with this transition. I think that he is just as amazed as we are that it actually happened at all and that we are finally out of the hospital. Quite honestly, I think he is finally breathing a huge sigh of relief!!!

I will try to write some more in the coming days, as so much as happened.

For now it is late and I am feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, and besides, my "big new bed" awaits me!

Please pray for Jessica to continue to have the strength and perseverance she needs to navigate the next few weeks. Please pray for the continuing treatments to go well and for the "small steps" to continue and that ultimately all that was accomplished here in Monterrey will one day eventually bring us home again!

We pray for ALL of you and are forever grateful for all of your love and support!

In God's Love, always,
Sarah Gina & Jessica*

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Sunday, June 20, 2010


Hi to All our Family & Friends,

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

Today is 10 months since we first arrived here in Monterrey for the coma.

Jessica left the Hospital San Jose Tec last night at 6:00 PM!!!

Praise God for his awesome love!

As you can imagine, it was a difficult trip via ambulance to our apartment - our new "home away from home".

I will try to write a larger update in a few days as it is hectic settling in.

Just wanted you all to know the news!

Keep us in your prayers - and please pray that all goes well with Jessica and this transition.

All our love,
Sarah Gina*(Mom to 3)


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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday is Hopefully the Day!!!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update:

Jessica and I will probably not be leaving the hospital till Friday.

There are so many things to be done and I have come to realize that time moves very slowly in Mexico.

Please keep us in your prayers.

It has been quite hectic and stressful this past week. Many ups and downs.

I will keep you all posted.

With love, always,
Sarah Gina & Jessica ***

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Monday, June 14, 2010


Hi to All our family, friends, and blog followers:

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:


It is looking like all is a go for leaving the hospital this Wednesday and transitioning out to an apartment here in Monterrey.

As you can imagine, it has been quite hectic here. Many plans to make and meetings to have in order to make this happen!

There have been so many emotions going on these past weeks, as we reflect back on the first day we arrived here at the Hospital San Jose Tec back in August.

I am composing a special message to everyone and will post it as soon as I can.

Please know that we think of all of you always and can't wait for the day when we ultimately come home.

God is in control - only He has the ultimate plan for Jessica - AND - for us ALL!

Please continue to keep Jessica and our family in your prayers and pray that all goes well with our transition.

Till I post the special message,
and in God's amazing hands always,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*

I am the light for the world! Follow Me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life. (John 8:12)

I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. (John 10:10)

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

53,000 Views of Blog! 12,500 Views of Youtube!

Hi Everyone,
To Order Jessica's Journey Necklace, Click On Link :

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

To view New Vemma Product Video, Click on Link Below:
(Sales of Vemma Products also help Jessica's Journey-for more info contact Nancy @ (419)350-9058)

Just a quick update:

We are still in the hospital as there are some loose ends that need to be addressed before we can transition out of Room 845.

Jessica's fevers have responded to the new antibiotic called targocid and she will remain on the IV medication until we leave.

As you can imagine, things are very hectic here - both physically and emotionally. We have been here for quite some time and the preparations for such a move can seem daunting at times.

On that note - yesterday was a day of days here. Katherine, Jessica's sister, has been recovering from the wisdom teeth extraction. She began experiencing tremendous pain in her back. Dr. Cantu and Dr. Luigi did a full exam and both felt that she may have a kidney stone. A urologist was called in as well and a URO Cat scan was performed. She does have a small stone and the hope is that it will pass with medication. Dr. Cantu also put her on medication for the pain.

As I said before --- never a dull moment with our family!

Please pray for Jessica - that all stays as planned and that we can transition from the hospital in the coming days.
Please pray for Katherine - that her stone passes and her pain is managed and that her mouth heals as well.
Please pray for me - that God continues to bless me with strength and good health - so that I can accomplish the tasks that need to be done for us to transition out of Room 845.
Please pray for Dr. Cantu and Dr. Luigi - for all they have done for us and continue to do every day.

In God We Trust,
Sarah Gina* (Mom to 3)

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Before The Morning........

Hi everyone,

To Order Jessica's Journey Necklace, Click On Link :

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

To view New Vemma Product Video, Click on Link Below:
(Sales of Vemma Products also help Jessica's Journey-for more info contact Nancy @ (419)350-9058)

Update on Room 845:

Good morning to everyone. I wanted to share the following video with everyone this morning. It was sent to us via a comment on the blog and it is an amazing song. It goes out to all those suffering with the pain of RSD, but also for everyone who is battling lyme disease or other illnesses and suffering with pain as well! It is so uplifting and the story behind the song is so inspiring! Enjoy!


Jessica is responding to the new antibiotic - targocid. This is an antibiotic that targets gram-positive infections. The fevers have lessened and are only low-grade now! The plan is for her to complete the IV treatment and then hopefully transition out of the hospital within a week or so. Praise God and praise you all for your continued prayers for Jessica and this incredible journey! It has been a "crazy" time here in Monterrey - both emotionally & physically as we try to make this "transition" happen. God has indeed been with us each and every day and from Him comes our strength. Also, please know, that ALL of you have been such a tremendous source of strength and compassion to us --- we are humbled by you all!

On another note - As you know Katherine is here with us and she began experiencing difficulties with her wisdom teeth. We had a consultation with an oral surgeon and he has advised us to remove all four wisdom teeth. This was something that was supposed to have been done in N.Y. but was put "on hold" while I have been here in Monterrey with Jessica. So, the plan is for her to have surgery here on Monday. I guess I will have two patients to look after now! Life is always interesting with our family! Please pray for Katherine as well and that all goes well with the extractions!

With God's love always,
Sarah Gina*

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update on Jessica

Hi To All,

To Order Jessica's Journey Necklace, Click On Link :

To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:

To view New Vemma Product Video, Click on Link Below:
(Sales of Vemma Products also help Jessica's Journey-for more info contact Nancy @ (419)350-9058)

Update on Jessica:

We are still in the hospital and it seems we will not be transitioning out of here until hopefully sometime next week.

Jessica is still running low-grade fevers and so the ID doctor has now added another IV antibiotic - Targocid - to her medications. She is currently on two antibiotics now - targocid and avelox.

Since the surgery for the mediport installation, she has not felt right. Please pray that the new antibiotic combination does the trick and the fevers go away.

Dr. Cantu is back from his trip and that is certainly comforting to her and to me as well. Things always run smoother when he is around and on top of things!

We are so happy to have Katherine here with us. As her Mom, I have truly missed her so! She has a way of lighting up the room with her "infectious smile"! She is currently sleeping on the blow-up mattress in our room. It feels a little more like "home" having her here with us. I guess the saying is true: Home is where the heart is..........

Thanks for all your continued prayers and always remember that you are all in our prayers daily and we think of you with love and affection. Stay well!

In God's love, and in His peace,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*

Special thanks go out to Cindel - our new friend here in Monterrey. She is more like family to us now! She has been so helpful to me in getting our place all set up and ready for Jessica for when we ultimately transition out of the hospital. She is a very special person - like a daughter - and I could not have done all that I have done so far without her help and more importantly her compassion! God has truly blessed us with wonderful "family" here in Monterrey!
Also - special thanks to Dr. Rainbow for helping me in so many ways. She helped me look into a hospital bed for when we leave the hospital. She is like Jessica's "grandma" here in Monterrey - and we love her and her family so!

"But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declared the Lord".

Jeremiah 39:17 & 18

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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!