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..................
I LOVE YOU!!!
In God's love, always,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)*
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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!