Friday, October 8, 2010

Exit Plan is for Tomorrow.....

Hi Everyone,

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

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are still in the hospital.

The plan is to hopefully leave tomorrow.

It has been an incredible few months back here in the hospital.

What I have come to realize is something that I have said from the beginning of this journey - and that is that in ALL things God does work for the good of those who love him. At times when you are going through the trials of your life, it is hard to imagine anything good coming from them. I have seen so many things happen here at the hospital. Some of them good, some of them bad, and some of them miraculous!!! In all these times and in all of these occurrences, God has made so much good come from what seemed so bad. What we have learned is that in the end, God turned around the most unbelievable circumstances imaginable and turned them around for good and for His glory!!!

When Jessica and I are settled in once again in the apartment, we will update everyone and Jessica has a special blog post that she wants to send to all.

We have so much to be thankful to God for.

We love you all and pray for everyone each and every day.

Remember to always have faith in God. Remember to always have hope in a better tomorrow. And, remember, above all, that God ultimately has a PLAN for us all. We just have to wait patiently for his timing...............which is always perfect.

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

***To Post A Comment, CLICK on Comments Below***


Team Jessica said...

Good Morning Jessica and Sarah Gina, So good to hear the Exit Plan! Prayers going your way for a smooth sailing event and comfort and joy as you get back to your abode!

So looking forward to your blog Jessica! How your Mom and you are missed and loved by folks around the world. You have touched lives in ways you may never totally realize but all for the Glory of God for sure!

Hurry home sweet girls!
Love and hugs,
Nancy and Joe

Marianne Caparrelli said...

Gina and are always in our thoughts and prayers. Hoping for a safe transition to the apartment. Sending lots of love!

Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica & Sarah,

We look forward to hearing all your stories and posts once you are settled back into the apartment!

Today, the sun is shining brightly here in Pennsylvania as we hope it is for you in Monterrey. You have both worked so hard for this day.

We wish you an uneventful transition and send many prayers, hugs and kisses your way!

God is with you and loves you!

Rosemary and John xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

You are so right in that it is very hard sometimes to see what God is doing in our lives but yet, it is only in hindsight that we can see some of the things He has done.

We are so thankful for the healing He is doing in Jessica's body and for the love He is displaying through His people.

Jessica, we look forward to reading your next post!

We hope and pray your transition back to the apartment will be uneventful and that you will continue to see more miracles unfold.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Fern said...

I am glad to hear that you are making some plans for the apartment again and I do look forward to hearing from Jess.!

It is Canadian Thanksigiving this weekend and with that in mind, I want you to know that I am thankful for our friendship, your encouragemtn, your patience, your reliance on the good Lord who ultimately knows what is in store and what is best even when it seems so crazy from our side!

Your family continues to inspire me in so many ways.

May God show you the path very clearly this weekend, and may your transition be a smooth one.

We send you our love and a wish for a happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Theo and Fern

Alan Smith said...

Jessica and Sarah Gina,

You and your family are such an inspiration to so many, if you only knew. May God bless you and keep you.

For Him, Alan

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess, David , Sara and the rest of the steens clan.

The first day I me the most beautiful Jess, I was met eit frustration, and disbelief that someone could be in do much pain, and not responding to conventional medicine. My Partner Maggie and I took no prisoners. We faught our asses off to give you, Jess, a peaceful,, comforfortable ride back home. We had to fight doctors, nurses and other jackasses just to try to help your rest, sleep and find peaceful comfort. I'm terribly embarrased I have not been in touch, but I promise you that I am on my knees every morning and evey night asking God to heal you. My email address is gie me an update if yoou can? Love always, your favorite Paramedic, Jeff

Jennifer C. said...


You are such an amazing young woman-I battle chronic pain myself, but cannot begin to imagine what you must have been through. The bad pain days can leave you feeling like you've been on the spin cycle. But the good days are for rainbows, and I see a lot of those ahead for you.

Your story gives me strength to go on and forge ahead with the journey that God has in store for me-whatever it may be...... Your dad knows me-if you ever need anything at all...

God Bless,

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!