Dear Family & Friends,
To view Jessica on Fox TV, Click on Link Below:
This will be a quick post as I don't know how long my computer will work and stay connected.
Let me start by saying that this past week has had many ups and downs.
The city of Monterrey is trying to rebuild and regroup after a devastating hurricane - the likes of which have not ever been seen here. We received over 25 inches of rain in a 3 day period! Many people were without power and water for days. Many roads were damaged by the excessive weight of the water and many bridges have been deemed not safe for passage. All homes received some type of water damage, whether it was thru windows, under doors, or by dirt being drawn into their homes by the excessive rain.
Please read the following article about the Hurricane:
Jessica's Dad & sister Michelle arrived safely this past July 4th. Dad will be leaving this Saturday morning and Michelle will be staying for the month to finally be with me and Jessica. It is so good to have them here even though we have had a week of crazy occurences in the apartment due to the storm. We are still experiencing rains everyday and another tropical storm - Bonnie - is looming in the horizon.
Dr. Cantu has virtually been here everyday as Jessica is experiencing low grade fevers again. The plan is to do "house calls" with the infections disease doctor - Dr. Dillman (aka Dr. Febricula). He has run some bloodwork and cultures and he put Jessica on levoflaxin daily for 7 days in the meanwhile. Please pray that the fevers will resolve as her pain has increased due to the fevers/infection.
Dr. Cantu leaves on vacation this Sunday and Dr. Luis (Luigi) will be visiting Jessica in the apartment and doing her medications and such. Special congratulations go out to Dr. Luigi and His wife Emma on the birth of their first child - a daughter - named Regina. She was born on July 5th, the same day as her Mom Emma and also her grandfather --- Amazing. She is beautiful - a true "princesa".
I will try to blog a longer post in the next few days. It has been crazy here with the storms and the water and settling in. Imagine having problems in your home and having to get them rectified. Then imagine trying to do that all in spanish and in Mexico and then add a hurricane into the mix! God is good and he has provided the support we have needed thru friends that we now have here in Monterrey! Some days though are definitely easier than others.......
We hope you are all well. Thanks for all the continued prayers for Jessica and for our family. Please pray also for Blair and Fern who recently left the hospital after their boosters to return to their homes in Canada.
May God continue to keep us all safe, well and in good health!
In God's love and with his grace,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*
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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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!