Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A message from Jessica!

The view from here- Cerro de la Silla mountain

"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all Gods. In His hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him!" ~Psalm 95:3-4

Hello everyone!

It’s me, Jessica! I thought it was about time that I wrote a blog post of my own to update everyone on the (amazing) progress I have made! Actually, the truth is, I have tried many times to write something, but I just couldn’t. It has been such a complicated journey- filled with so many ups and downs and so many emotions It really is nearly impossible to put this experience into words...

All I can really say is that I have been truly blessed with the greatest parents, loving sisters, an incredible support system, amazing family and friends and the most caring and devoted doctors in the world, all of whom have gone above and beyond to help me get to where I am today.

It’s mind-boggling for me to sit here now, out of the hospital- looking at the beautiful view of the "Cerro de la Silla" mountain and to think back on what I have been through over the past year. It has been a rough journey, but my improvement has been nothing short of miraculous. Even my worst day now is far better than my best day was 1 year ago. The Ketamine Coma Study was my very last hope. I am forever grateful to my New York doctors- Drs. Liegner and Finkelstein, for working tirelessly on my behalf to get me here for this treatment and to Dr. Kirkpatrick, for the opportunity to take part in this study, which for me, has been life-saving!

I cannot say enough great things about the care I have received here in Mexico. I can honestly say that coming here has been the biggest blessing in my life thus far. My doctors, especially Dr. Cantu 'Green Shirt", Dr. "Luigi" Barrientos, Dr. "Febricula" Dillmann, Dr. Cinthia "Lyme", Dr. Ramos "Medusa" and Dr. "Rainbow" Zavala, have all gone above and beyond what any doctor could ever be expected to for a patient. It is because of their love, dedication and patience that I am still here. I shudder to think of where I would be right now if I had not been given the chance to come here for this study.

I have a chance to have a life again and I am just so excited! Everyday and everything is like brand new to me and I can’t wait to re-discover all of the things I have missed out on for so long!

The most important thing I have learned throughout my journey is that God can take any situation, no matter how hopeless or terrible it seems at the time, and redeem it for His glory! It is hard to appreciate this when you are being tested, severely, and things go horribly wrong- it’s hard to imagine that any good can come out of a bad situation. But God will never let you fall farther than He can catch you- His power works best when we are at our weakest. When we are literally drained, being hit from all angles and the situation is (or at least appears to be) completely hopeless. It is these times that set up the stage for miracles to happen!

I know this and I believe this. I have lived it.

I know that I still have a long road ahead of me. Everyday has its own struggles and some days are a lot easier than others, but no matter what challenges may still lay ahead, each day I will continue to take the “small steps” (as Dr. Cantu always reminds me) needed for my full recovery, as I allow my body and mind to heal. I know that with my incredible Mom by my side, I can make it through anything. After all, it has been her unwavering love and support that has enabled me to keep on going this far. I don't know what I would do without her! I am beyond blessed to be her daughter.

Please know that I appreciate all of the love, support and most importantly, prayers that have been lifted up for me and my family! They have been answered, and I continue to be amazed by my God and His work in my life! It has been an amazing journey and I cannot wait to see where His plans lead me next! Everyday and everything is somehow serving His greater purpose for my life, and for yours too! You are all in my prayers daily and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

In God's Amazing Love,

Jessica (Sarah Gina's daughter :)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

What a difference a year can make!

Me & Dr. Cantu aka "Dr. Green Shirt"

August, 2009

September, 2010

I don’t think Dr. Cantu can ever fully comprehend just how special he is to me and the other RSD/Ketamine Coma patients. He is a beacon of light and a north star for all of us dealing with this horrible painful disease. He has restored hope to so many.

God is working miracles through you, Dr. Cantu, always remember that!
Thank you for caring, understanding and for always listening. Thank you for being willing to "step out of the box" and try whatever it takes to get me well. I love you, very much!

And also special thanks to Dr. "Luigi" Barrientos, who has been a God-send in my life and has helped me numerous times while at Hospital San Jose Tec. He is also one of my guardian angels here in Monterrey! Muchias gracias para todos!

**To post a comment click on "Comments" below**


marianne Caparrelli said...

Jessica, It is so wonderful to read your letter. You look beautiful and happy. I am so thankful to God ! May each day bring you closer to a complete healing! Lots of love from your VA family :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Sara Gina,

I have been following your blog since the beginning and seen your ups and downs. Your faith is inspirational to all. Looking at the photos from last year to this year of Jessica and seeing the posting from Jessica herself has brought joy to my heart.

David Cox

Dale said...

Jessica, I am very happy to see a smile on your face know that our prayers are with you always. One of your bus drivers from GC.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica -- We have all waited for this day . . and here it is! How happy we were to hear from the one and only positively wonderful YOU! Both you and your mom are always in our thoughts and prayers and to see and hear just how well you are doing completely takes our breath away! We look forward to hearing about your continued progress and -- one day soon -- welcoming you home! Until then, our love and warmest wishes to you both . . . each and every day! Love, the Klatt Gang XOXO

Team Jessica said...

Oh Jessica it is so wonderful to see your wonderful picture and see your amazing words and feel your tremendous faith and strength and love today! You are the light that God is shining out to all of us saying "Follow me and feel the love and healing". We have all prayed for this day and thank you for being such a sweet and dear part of our lives.

Today is a huge day of celebration!
Praise be to our wonderful Lord! Amen
Kiss your sweet Momma. She has been a Life Saver for all of us, and the best example ever of "motherly love".
Sweet Dreams...
Team Jessica

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina
Your blog and beautiful picture made my day! You are always in my daily prayers and I hope each day continues to bring those small steps to a full recovery.
God bless you. Love ya!
Mrs. Shohfi

Lenny Rivera said...

Dear Jessica,

I read your letter with amazement and Joy! We are so happy with your incredible improvements! I also send my regards to Mom, her strength has been equally important through your journey to wellness. Take care!

-Lenny Rivera

Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica,

We are overwhelmed with emotions! We thank God for bringing you to this day. A day all of us have prayed and hoped to witness...when you would be well enough in body, mind and spirit to express your feelings on this blog! It has been so difficult just as an "outsider" to watch your suffering and the numerous "bumps in the road" you have had to overcome. As you said, it is hard to try and make any sense out of it. But the deep devotion that you and your amazing Mom have shown to the Lord has been inspirational to us on many levels. You have helped us to re-examine our own beliefs, to reach out to God during our own challenges and to once again believe in miracles! Thank you for giving us the strength and the hope to remain positive in the face of adversity and for being our hero! Keep going Jessica, you are destined for greatness! We love you (and your Mom) soooooo much!!!

Rosemary & John xoxoox

Anonymous said...

Jessica, Devon and I were overcome to read your first blog, what a long journey it has been from when we met you and your Mom in the summer of 2009.It brings tears to our eyes to see your transformation this past year, you go girl and continue to get well so we can have a reunion in the states.

Cathy and Devon

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Jessica,

What an absolutely beautifully written heartfelt post! Tears of joy have filled my eyes as I read this. We are so happy for you and your family. What a miracle!

I am so thrilled to see the difference that has transpired over the year (the pictures really show the transformation).

You have been truly blessed with an incredible mother and family who love you very much.

We thank you very much for sharing this extremely difficult time in your life - all the ups and downs. But most of all, we thank God for His incredible grace, compassion, mercy and healing being displayed in your life.

God is not done yet. I believe we will continue to see more miracles unfold in your lives.

May He continue to strength and heal you as you continue your road to complete healing.

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

My Jessica, My lovely Jessica,

You have been an inspiration to so many. You have shown us all what faith coupled with a wonderful mom and a super doctor can do!

I have waited in prayer for 5 years for this day.

Praise be to our awesome God


Fern said...

Jess, I hear energy in your words and a new found strength. Even though you are fighting yet another infection, you foudn the time and energy to bless us all with your words, your faith, your drive, your tenacity, and your resiliance.
I am honoured to have known you and your mom. You will always be special in my life and when you are traveling again, I want you to come here to me in my part of the world so that I can show you my treasures here and the way God has blessed us all near and far.

I am also so glad to know the doctors you speak of. They are all very special people being God's hands here on earth and working alongside to see us all well.

When you are up to a chat, let me know. For now, my prayers remain with you. I look forward to the day we can both celebrate restoration.

Today, I celebrate the baby steps we have taken to be on this side. May God continue to use you and show us His evidence of love, compassion, strength and optimism through His work on you.

Love you

Marianne E. Quinn said...

Dear Jessica,

God Bless You! God Bless Your Mom!God Bless the Doctors! Thank you so much for your beautiful words! Thank your Mom for all the blog posts and inspirational messages! Your Faith, Your Courage, Your Devotion is Amazing! God is Good. God is Compassionate. God is Merciful. May God continue to Bless You with His Healing Graces! I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers! I believe in the Power of Prayer! Thank you for sharing your pictures and this difficult time in your life with us, showing God's Miraculous Work! It has taught me many invaluable life lessons! I Thank God for You! With Much Love and Prayers, Marianne

Anonymous said...

"Even my worst day now is far better than my best day was 1 year ago."

Celebrating with you: singing, dancing and praising His
holy name ...

Awesome God
by Rich Mullins

When He rolls up His sleeves
He ain't just putting on the ritz
(Our God is an awesome God)
There's thunder in His footsteps
And lightning in His fists
(Our God is an awesome God)
And the Lord wasn't joking
When He kicked 'em out of Eden
It wasn't for no reason
That He shed His blood
His return is very close
And so you better be believing that Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God


And when the sky was starless
In the void of the night
(Our God is an awesome God)
He spoke into the darkness
And created the light
(Our God is an awesome God)
Judgement and wrath He poured out on Sodom
Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross
I hope that we have not
Too quickly forgotten that
Our God is an awesome God


Our God is an awesome God
(Our God is an awesome God)
He reigns from heaven above
(He reigns from heaven above)
With wisdom, power, and love
(With wisdom, power, and love)
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
Our God is an awesome God

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I am so blessed to read this. Thank you for sharing! This is an answer to so many prayers...God is good!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Sarah,
We are overjoyed with your beautiful update. I read it crying through tears of joy, ran upstairs to tell Erin, and texted Kerri to read your wonderful news. After hearing how good things are going, she said she would read it with tissues handy!

The world is such a better place with you and your family in it to inspire all of us. Team "Dr. Cantu" truly is a group of angels here on earth sent to help answer the prayers of RSD patients and their families.

Congratulations on your amazing progress!

Love, Kathy, Mark, Kerri and Erin

michelle said...

dear WESSIE,
youhave improved so much since you first went to mexico. I never thought i would see you smile again like the old wessie i know. it is such a joy to see you doing better. i cant believe how far we've come, it feels like just yesterday you were on the plane going to tampa! God bless you and all the doctors that have helped you along your journey. I think about you everyday and cant wait to get home from school to skype with my wessie:) I love you more than life its self. You are the only wessie in the world! I LOVE YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is so exciting to hear from you again. It was difficult each day to look at the blog and see no news.
We were in GC last weekend to celebrate my folks 70th wedding anninversary and just happened to see David. It was great to hear his excitement of you doing well.
And now this beautiful words of wisdom. You are together girl to write so much and so beautifully. Our prayers will continue that you have more Great days and will be able to return to the States.
peace and love,
the Maitans

Anonymous said...

Jessica & Sarah,

If you feel like celebrating with a simple, quick, very delicious treat you can make in the microwave:

Double Chocolate Pudding

1/4 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. Salt

2 cups light cream
3 oz. chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (even milk chocolate is good)
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract (use 1 Tbsp.)

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the cream until smooth, then whisk in the remaining 1 cup cream. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to whisk and boil for 1 minute.

Or (for busy Moms - easy stuff):
Microwave 3 minutes on high-stir. Cook 1 minute more-stir. Continue until reached desired consistency.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Put chocolate in and stir until chocolate is melted and the pudding is smooth (about 3 minutes).

Divide the pudding among 4 small dessert dishes. Let cool for about 20 minutes to serve warm and soft or cover with cling wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Can also put in small ramkin dishes, topped with whipped cream and an espresso bean or a mint leaf.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for inspiring us to keep going and fighting:) As long as you never give up, you're a winner! Praying for you, and anyone else with RSD... Keep the hope alive! <3 Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

...Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name

kathy said...

I love hearing all the good news and pray daily that your healing will continue. You have such a loving and caring family surrounding you that I know only the best can result . I hope and pray that each new step brings you closer and closer to a full recovery. What a very strong and determined young woman you are and a great example to others who may be going through some rough times right now. I am not sure I could be the fighter you keep up the good fight and know that there are many praying for you.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica

How wonderful to see a message from you and to see you smiling. You are amazing and we are so happy to hear how much progress you have made. We think about and pray for you, your mom and your family every day. We have been inspired by you and your journey.
Keep believing.

With Love

Ashley,Paula,Ray and Kevin C.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gina-

How wonderful! I can only imagine how you feel. You are an amazing Mom.


Anonymous said...

Hebrews 11:1

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Mark 11:22-24

22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Anonymous said...

My family wishes you and your family the best and our prayers continue.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that you are doing so much better. My daughter had the coma treatment about 4 1/2 years ago. It has made such a difference in her life!. She still has some pain, but is now able to have a real life!
I have been thinking of you and praying for you while you are in Mexico and keeping up with your progress on this website.

Best wishes for the beginning of a new chapter in your life!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica,
You are so brave and such an inspiration to so many! For a little girl, you have been through so much and keep on fighting. Your courage roars! You have such a wonderful mom and family to help you to continue fighting this monster without a doubt! I wish so much you did not have to go through all of this, but I am hopefully praying that you will be cured! HOPE! And mom's should not have to endure this pain in their heart. Thank you for raising awareness and keeping up the fight!
You have touched my heart and are always in my thoughts and prayers! Blessings!
Maddie Burke

Anonymous said...

A story to encourage you ...

(Thinking outside the box)

A loving family insists that doctors try high dose intravenous Vitamin C before pulling the plug on their dad, a dairy farmer in New Zealand (isn't this where Emma is from?).

He was in an induced coma on life support due to severe complications from swine flu, leukemia and pneumonia. The man's family fought doctors and hospitals, who wanted to remove him from life support and let him die.

The dairy farmer lived and fully recovered, thanks to his family, and is thriving once again!

With God, all things are possible!

Anonymous said...

Hope is trusting God despite your present circumstances, despite what you see.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, you are the miracle that everyone dreams about. You have truly been to the bottom and have worked your way to the top. All in the hands of God and the support of MOM and your family and friends. I look forward to your journey home and can't wait to say hello to a true MIRACLE. Love ya, Bonnie

Blair Webber AKA FED said...

Jessica, you are truly a very special person! You have been threw so much in the past year yet you remain super positive! You have been a HUGE influance on me and have given so many other RSD sufferers stregnth and hope to carry on like you. When we talked last week you looked so good and had happiness in your voice. I feel very blessed to have met you and your Mom and Dad and sister, you have a great Family. One day you will have to tell me where you got the nicknames from, like Dr Cantu calling him Green shirt? I look forward to your next Blog and chatting with you again real soon. God Bless and keep up the recovery, it looks good on you...
Bye for now,

Anonymous said...

Dearest dearest Jessica and Gina, As I write this through the tears streaming down my face, I thank our loving God who is always with us for the miracle of Jess' blog entry!!!!!!! I remember back to the early days living in the hotel coming up from Florida, through the time at Cecilia and Jimmy's (may they always be richly blessed), to the house in GC, and back to Florida, then to Hospital San Jose Tec, and now to the casita... quite amazing!! Although the locations changed, some important things stayed the same. Both your faith in God, and your strength and determination to overcome this illness, have been rock solid. Your friendliness and good humor have not only kept you going, but gave a little sparkle of hope to those in similar situations- whether in the hospital or on the blog. And your refusal to look at the glass as half-empty even during all that you have gone through is an inspiration to all, even though you never set out to inspire anyone. Jess and Gina, you are a blessing to all of us!! Keep those blog entries coming when you can, Jess!!! I will say prayers of thanks to God tonight, that's for sure...... Love always, Angel xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Keeping you in my prayers always. <3

Anonymous said...

I don't know you personally, but I am amazed by your strength, spirit and faith. Keep believing in the unimaginable, and know that many people are sending healing prayers to you. Just like you, I also was young when diagnosed with RSD/CRPS. I know how hard it is to stay positive and I admire your ability to hold onto hope and be optimistic. You have been through SO much! Never lose that attitude... Yours is the type of story that gives hope to the rest of us still trying to navigate our way... THANKS! God bless, Nicole

Anonymous said...

Hola Jessy y Sara;

Tus palabras para todos los que hemos tenido la fortuna que nos ayuden son maravillosas, al igual que tú y tu maravillosa madre.

Yo no sé que ás podría decirte, solo que comparto contigo tus avances y alegrias.
Me da mucisimo gusto leerte y ver que vas mejorando como dice Green Shirt Paso a pasito.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica,

There has never been a doubt in my mind, that this day would come. You are one of Gods greatest demonstrations of how He is able to combine the power of His miracles with the skill of human kind. He has truly worked through the hands of Dr. Cantu, your Mom, and every other person who has been involved with your care. You have been and will continue to be, the hope and inspiration for so many. You have defied all the odds and will have the opportunity to show the world that truly, NOTHING is impossible. I love you so much and will continue to keep my arms around you (across the miles). Can't wait to see you and your Mom back here in the states. Love you both. Nita

Anonymous said...

John 11:40
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Anonymous said...


You are so brave...insightful...and courageous. After reading everything on this website, I know you will overcome..EVERYTHING that you put your mind to. If you can overcome the symptoms of RSD, there is NOTHING that you cannot do.

I will keep you in my thoughts as you continue your battle! Fight on!!

Anonymous said...

Seeing Jessica SMILING makes my day =)
I check this blog everyday and am so glade Jessica is showing some signs of improvement.
Hang in there Jessica!!!!!

I am so Glad You made it to Dr. Cantu!!!!


Anonymous said...

"Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."

—Matthew 15:28.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me-- or can I point out the obvious here?? Are ALL of the doctors in Mexico THAT good looking??

cindel. said...

Jess, I can't put into words all that I'm feeling as I read this.
You've been an example, a life lesson to all of us around you. You're wise beyond your years not only because of all that has happened to you, but also because you've got a certain something not everyone has, a great heart and even a greater soul. You're unique in every way and I feel more than blessed to have met you and your family, and to actually be a part of it as the fourth daughter as your mom says.
I just want you to know that I'm always here and that I'm glad to join you in this journey in which the road just keeps getting brighter as the days go by.
When I woke up the morning of that day I went into the hospital to see my grandma I never thought that it would be the day that would change my life by meeting you and your incredible mom.
Thank you. I love you with all my heart.

Carrie said...

Hi Jess,

I am not sure if you remember me or not, we haven't talked for several months. I have been on Dr. Jemsek's Lyme protocol since February now, and heard about your ketamine coma story. I want you to know that you are in my prayers each and every day and have been since the first day we spoke a couple of years ago. You are an inspiration to all of us suffering from Lyme. When you have a changce I would love to hear how you are doing sometime.

Love always and God be with you,

Ashley said...

I obviously had to re-read your letter again tonight. I LOVE hearing about all the progress you've been making. I think about you everyday. XOXOXO

Claudia said...

All the words above are no enough to describe the pride to have meet you. Go girls!!! You Know... The Power of love.
Jess, say hi to Furr!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your blog has a new look!

Looks like things are a changing!

Anonymous said...

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¡sǝןʞɔnɥɔ ʍǝɟ ɐ noʎ ǝʌıƃ puɐ ʎɐp ɹnoʎ dn uǝʇɥƃıɹq oʇ ǝʇou ɐ noʎ puǝs pןnoʍ ı ʇɥƃnoɥʇ ʇsnɾ ˙ʎɐpoʇ ןןǝʍ ƃuıop ǝɹɐ noʎ ǝdoɥ ı

'ɐɔıssǝɾ ıɥ

Anonymous said...

Something to make you smile:

A very simple yet creative football play:

Driscoll Middle School Trick Play

John and Rosemary said...

Hi Jess... It was wonderful to see and talk with you yesterday! We are keeping you in our prayers! You are on the right track now and we pray that you stay on this positive track. Keep eating your Mom's home cooking and you will get stronger as every day goes by.
We Love You.
John & Rosemary

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Цвет столешницы на выбор.
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Charlotte said...

Dear Jessica, There has never been a doubt in my mind, that this day would come. You are one of Gods greatest demonstrations of how He is able to combine the power of His miracles with the skill of human kind. He has truly worked through the hands of Dr. Cantu, your Mom, and every other person who has been involved with your care. You have been and will continue to be, the hope and inspiration for so many. You have defied all the odds and will have the opportunity to show the world that truly, NOTHING is impossible. I love you so much and will continue to keep my arms around you (across the miles). Can't wait to see you and your Mom back here in the states. Love you both. Nita

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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!