Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Hello to all our Family & Friends,

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


I am so sorry that I haven't blogged sooner, but it has been a couple of weeks that have been like no other.

First, and foremost, Jessica is awake and is out of the ICU and back up to the 8th floor!

She is doing very well!!!

The hospital is all talking about the miracle that happened here this past week. Quite honestly, from Angeles - Jessica's nurse that morning on the 8th floor when she was not doing well, to Carlos - her nurse in the ICU when she awoke - they are all amazed at her recovery.

Throughout this journey with Jessica I have witnessed firsthand the many times that God has truly revealed himself to us. This past week was another one of those revealing times. What began with Jessica being rushed down to the ICU having difficulty breathing and not doing very well at all, is now a celebration in that she has recovered from the pneumothorax, infections and fevers, and when she emerged from the coma, is with much less pain, the lesions are healing as well, and she is able to move her legs once again! Jessica is smiling again!!!

I wanted you all to know this most special news!!!

Let me just say that we should never underestimate God.
He truly does work in mysterious ways.
We must always believe that He Can - and not that He Can't.

And...remember to always believe in that "rainbow" that appears after a "mighty storm" because it is God's revelation or "message" to us that the dreams that you dream of really can and do come true!!!

We pray that you are all well. Please pray for Jessica. Pray that she keeps smiling her beautiful smile. Pray that the pain, the lesions and the infections stay away. Thanks be to God for his mighty works. And many thanks to Dr. Cantu ( a doctor like no other-aka Dr. "CanDo"), Dr. Luigi (always there for Jessica), Dr. Dillman (the infection control doc) and all the staff here at the hospital.

And......many thanks to all of you for your prayers for a miracle for Jessica!

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

A Special Birthday Message to Jessica's grandma - Nanny "Yum-Yum" - my mother - who turns 87 today!!! Happy Birthday and thank you for praying for a miracle for Jessica!!! We love you very much!!!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweet Dreams Jessica.............

Hello To All,

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


This week has been a week of weeks. As you know Jessica has been having infections and recurring lesions and pain and has been hospitalized for the past two weeks. Due to the recurring fevers it was decided to remove her medi-port and place a central catheter instead in order to continue with her IV antibiotics, IVIG, TPN and ketamine boosters.

After the surgery for the new catheter placement she was experiencing pain that was very different. As the night progressed and the pain was increasing, as well as her having difficulty and pain with breathing, Dr. Cantu & Dr. Luigi quickly ran tests and discovered that Jessica suffered a pneumothorax. Due to these events, some of which were very scary, it was necessary to put Jessica in the ICU and put her to sleep for a few days to rest and for the doctors to be able to perform what was needed for Jessica.

It goes without saying that I am thankful to Dr. Cantu, Dr. Luigi, Dr. Dillman, Dr. Castilleja & Dr. Cinthia for all they continue to do for Jessica each and every day here. As you know, it was one year ago that we first arrived here in Monterrey. That journey began with our hope in getting Jessica better and as pain-free as we possibly can. We have seen the improvements she has made here and quite frankly her courage, strength, faith and determination have been inspiring; not only to me, but to so many others who have come here for this treatment - as well as those who suffer with RSD who follow this blog.

The journey continues once again....as Jessica continues to take the small steps needed towards her ultimate recovery.

I know you all know how much I am in awe of my daughter and how I thank God each and every day for blessing me with her. I continue to thank God and praise him for ALL he has done for Jessica and continues to do for her every minute of every day! I also thank God for all of you who continue to pray for Jessica and continue to take this journey along with us. We couldn't have come this far without your love and support and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

I will try to update you on Jessica's progress and how she is doing when she comes out of the coma. Jessica has made so much progress since we have been here and I know as sure as I know my own name - that she will come out of this even stronger and more determined than before. She is a fighter. We all know that!

As it says in Psalm 139 - Verses 11&12:

"Even darkness like this is not too dark for yourather, night is as clear as day,darkness and light are the same."
God Does His Best Work In The Darkness!

Please pray for a restful sleep for Jessica. Pray that she awakens in a few days feeling better and stronger and in less pain. Pray also for the sweet miracle of healing - the kind that can only come from the good Lord above.

SWEET DREAMS JESSICA..................

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

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Continued Prayers Needed.....

Hello to All,

This past week has been very difficult for Jessica. Initially it looked like the fevers were responding to the antibiotics, but the past few days the fevers have been increasing and last night it went up to 39 C or roughly 102.5 F.

Due to this Dr. Cantu and Dr. Dillman both agreed that it would be necessary to remove Jessica's medi-port and instead put in a central catheter. She was brought down to surgery this afternoon.

We are currently awaiting cultures to determine if this is the same infection she has been trying to fight or a new one.

She is a fighter and quite honestly I don't know how she manages to keep on fighting sometimes.....but we have to believe that God has a better plan for Jessica and also a better life ahead for her as well.

We thank you for all your love and support and continued prayers for Jessica.
Please pray that the RSD symptoms she is feeling will lessen. Pray for Dr. Cantu and all the doctors here at the Hospital San Jose Tec.

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

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Update on Jessica / Fundraiser This Weekend

Hello To All,

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



As you know it was necessary to hospitalize Jessica this past Thursday.

Tests revealed that she is currently fighting two infections - gram negative bacteremia and candida.
Dr. "Febricula"(aka Dillman) has changed her antibiotics due to culture sensitivity tests. She is currently on merrem, tygacil and equalta. The fevers have been responding to the infection. The hope is that the medi-port will not have to be changed.

Due to the infection, however, Jessica is experiencing a lot of pain. As you may recall, Jessica's RSD came from infection and not injury - and so it is not good when she gets infection. Some of the lesions are returning to her right arm and right leg. Dr. Cantu is attacking this with giving Jessica ketamine boosters every day, until things quiet down and she starts to feel better.

Please pray for Jessica and pray that things go in a forward motion. She is discouraged, as you can imagine. We have been praying that God performs his healing miracles here once again, along with Dr. Cantu(Green Shirt), Dr. Dillman (Febricula),and Dr. Luigi (Luis).

Tomorrow she will be put back on TPN- due to her gastric symptoms and to help her nutritionally. She will also be put on IVIG, an immune system booster, with the hopes of building up her immune system and to try to normalize some of her blood counts, as well as to try to reverse some of her symptoms as well!

I will keep you all posted....

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


With all that has been going on I forget to mention a Special Fundraiser that is taking place this weekend in Garden City, New York. It was organized by The Stober family, and many items have been donated for the sale.

The Garage Sale Fundraiser will be held AUGUST 13th & 14th at:
10 St. Paul's Place - Garden City, New York
If you are in the area on these days - please feel free to stop by and support this wonderful outpouring of love and support for Jessica and our family.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Jessica is Back In The Hospital

Hello to All,

I am writing this blog tonight from the Hospital San Jose Tec once again.

Dr. Cantu & Dr. Dillman both felt that it was necessary to hospitalize Jessica due to infection and also because of her blood counts being low. Due to her immune system being compromised and the lesions returning to her right arm and also the increasing pain she was experiencing - it was not only necessary but unavoidable.

We arrived here via ambulance and are back in our old room - #845.

As you can imagine coming back to the hospital comes with many mixed emotions. On the one hand, it was necessary and in Jessica's best interest so that she could get all of the treatments necessary. On the other hand, it is so very emotional and for Jessica - a setback. She is such a strong person and as Dr.Cantu has said to her so many times during this journey - he is amazed at what she has endured and the obstacles she has overcome and still continues to overcome each and every day. God is truly with her and continues to bless her with a perseverance that quite frankly is inspiring. I am truly blessed to be her Mom!!!

She is currently on equalta, maxipime, and cubicin. These medications may change when the culture sensitivities are in. She will also be receiving her ketamine boosters in order to try to alleviate her pain and also to go after the reoccuring lesions. Blood counts will be drawn daily and appropriate treatment will be started as warranted. It is the doctors hope that we will only be in the hospital for @ 10 days.

Please keep all those prayers coming for Jessica. God is good and with His mighty help and unending love - as well as Dr.Cantu and his amazing devotion to Jessica - and to Dr. Dillman, her infectious disease doctor and his tireless efforts as well - and also Dr. Luigi and all of his help --- I know that Jessica will come out of this victorius! For me, as her Mom, I will stop at nothing to see this happen for Jessica and for her to one day have her life back again...........

May God keep you all healthy and in His loving grace,
Sarah Gina (Mom to 3)*

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Special Prayers Needed!

Hello to All our Family & Friends,

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


Sorry I haven't posted sooner. This past week has not gone very smoothly for Jessica. She has not been feeling well and was experiencing some intermittent low-grade fevers, as well as some other symptoms.

Yesterday, however, her fever began to rise. I called Dr. Cantu and Dr. Dillman and blood cultures and exams were taken to try and discover the source of her infection. We are awaiting results of these tests to determine what the next course of action will be. For now, the two doctors are trying to manage her on an out-patient basis. If the need should arise and depending on those exams - we may have to bring her back to the hospital.

Please continue to keep Jessica in your prayers. Pray that we can figure out the infection and with that the increasing pain and recurring lesions. Please pray that she doesn't have to return to the hospital!

I will keep you all posted.

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

"We don't know what tomorrow holds. There are no promises of it. But we know HE holds tomorrow!"

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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!