Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Raining INDOORS!!!

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)*



Nancy & Joey said...

Good Morning Michelle, Jessica and Sarah Gina! I can imagine how wonderful it is to be all together again!

And how you guys just keep marching through! Through rain and sleet and storm "ALEX"....oh... forget that...that's the mailman's slogan,and we know how S-L-O-W that can be in Mexico, eh! It's so sad to see the pictures of the impact ALEX had on your home away from home. Prayers that David made it home safe and sound and Monterrey ends up wash anew and reborn with God's help!

May Jessica respond quickly to the meds and be feverFREE real soon.

May today bring great advances in progress on Jessica's health and journey to a pain free renewed life. God is great and we all miss all of you! Hurry home...the beach is calling! XOXO
Nancy & Jose'

Fern said...

What a crazy tie ndeed! So glad to hear that the doctors are doing their best to keep Jessica well and also in the apartment!
Sarah, pretty soon your English is going to be your second language and Spanish your first!
Our trip home from Monterrey was eventful to be sure and then we arrived home to a short heat wave here! Weather has been crazy around the world!
Miss you all already. Hope that things get sorted out soon and that we can connect one of these first days.
Blessings to you all! Hope David had a safe trip home and won't be too lonely without his girls. :)

John and Rosemary said...

Hello Ladies,

Your family is an inspiration to all. God is watching over you and he will bring Jessica through these difficult times. And, no...I cannot imagine being in Mexico, living in a temporary home alone, in a hurricane, trying to food shop, cook, communicate with medical staff, bail water out of my apartment and get through what you have done. I don't think anyone can and still, you can smile and make others laugh. We pray that Jessica will soon be without infection. May God keep you all strong, in body and spirit and may he help Monterrey and its people to recover from the devastation from the hurricane.

Lots of love and prayers, Rosemary & John

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that He provided so many friends down in Mexico to help you during this time!

May God continue to bless your family and keep you safe from harm. May he quiet down Jessica's body and mind and bring her complete relief from her pain.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Riches serve a wise man but command a fool.............................................................

Anonymous said...

I recently learned of Jessica's story and this blog and have been reading it to learn what positive affects ketamine has provided during your daughter's recovery after the coma. However, I'm not actually reading much about your daughter. Could you please provide a little less ancillary information involving the weather and the names of various friends of friends and more information regarding Jessica. I'm not learning much about her physical condition and recovery in this blog and would like to see more of that.

Tammy Miloro said...

Hi Jessica
I'm a friend of Nancy's on Marco Island and we look forward to your return to the United States sometime soon. With each day may you get stronger.

Tammy Miloro

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

so happy that you got to see your family. what a special time for all of you. god bless and keep you all. hope the rain is over. believe it or not, we are having unbelievable rain now too. Boats are looking better all the time. ha ha!!!!! love to you all, Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Something to encourage you ...

A testimony of a man who, 8 years ago was thrown from a horse and he broke his neck, became a quadrapeligic and is now able to walk with a walker.

Small steps = HUGE advances!

With God, all things are possible!

Keep going, Jessica!

Anonymous said...

When setbacks and failures, and upset plans
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands
Are You not the closest when it's hardest to stand?
I know that You will finish what You began

Tiffany said...

Endless warm and positive wishes go out to Jessica and to you (and all those) who are helping take care of her. She and you all are absolutely amazing. Really ah-mazing!:) I have had severe nerve pain for 10 years-- although not as extreme as Jessica!-- and I know how hard it is not only to have that kind of pain but also how hard it is for the people around you. When people are there for you when you're sick like that-- it means everything! So I just wanted to pass that along, because really, you all are so special.

I did want to ask, how is Jessica's pain now-- is she doing better? much better? I sincerely do hope so and im praying you all are doing well and better than ever. :)

Much love and best best wishes...


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!