Saturday, January 15, 2011


Jessica & Dr. Green Shirt (aka Cantu)

Blessings To ALL,

Today is Jessica's 23rd Birthday and oh what a difference a year has made! Last year on this day, she was in the hospital going on 5 months, had a 104 fever and was fighting infections and many obstacles! This year, although we are still here in Monterrey, she is out of the hospital after being there for over a year, and her journey of hope seems that much brighter! Praise God!

" The appearance of a beautiful and magnificent Rainbow was God's promise of Hope to Noah and his family. It was a sign of peace, comfort and joy."
"The Rainbow is a sign of God's promise that He will guide us thru any storm, that He will ease all our troubles, no matter what their form!"

My Dearest Daughter Jessica,

This journey that you and I began together, has been one incredible journey -- many highs, many lows; many obstacles, many miracles. But, through it all, you have never given up Hope. It was and is that hope you had and continue to have in God, in your doctors, in prayers, in miracles, and in yourself, that has been the focus of your journey to having a life again. Jessica - never let go of hope. One day you will see that it All has come together and what you wished and prayed for has finally come to be! You will look back one day at what has passed and you will ask yourself "How did I ever get through All of that?"

Jessica, my hopes for your birthday are:

That you wake up in the morning with a big smile on your face...
That the sun is shining just for you... and the birds are singing their very best songs...
That your day is filled with lovely surprises, and that family & friends call or write you just to say "Hi"...
That everything goes your way...and everything is well with your world...

I hope that you enjoy all that you can do... and that you can laugh and talk to your heart's content...
That you have all that you wish for yourself and those dear to you, and that ALL your dreams come true...

And, at the end of this day, I wish you a perfect moon above the Monterrey mountains, shining just for you...
and a snug and cozy bed with the softest of pillows, so that you can sleep like a baby with a smile on your face...

I hope you have a perfect end to a perfect day... and I hope that every day is just as wonderful in its own way...

So, Jessica, think of Mommy's Hopes for you, and let them turn on the sunshine inside of You! That's my Birthday Hope for You!!!

I Love you Jessica and always will...
You have my heart forever...
Happy 23rd Birthday!!!




Dear Jessica,

The fact that you are turning 23 is wonderful. The fact that you're turning 23 in Mexico is cool and the fact that you're turning 23 and feeling good is just amazing and a miracle!

You are definitely the strongest person in faith, resolve and courage that I know.

I hope you have a special day on your Special Day.

When I saw you recently, I saw for the first time in over four years the daughter I used to know. I saw my oldest daughter who is funny, witty and beautiful.

And, I know that you will eventually WALK out of Mexico.

So have a Happy Birthday.

May God, continue to bless you, keep you and strengthen you.




Dear Jessica,

Today is your 23rd birthday, YAY!!! When I think of birthdays the first thing that comes to my mind is the cake, the parties, the presents and most importantly the wish that the person makes when they blow out the candles. I know that your last couples of birthdays haven’t been fun for you; I think they were mostly reminders that you were still sick. This birthday, however, is so much different!! I’m sooo happy that you will finally have a birthday that you can really enjoy! You’re doing so amazingly great and I am beyond proud of you! I thank God everyday for these wonderful blessings that have happened to you this year.

Your last healthy birthday was when you turned 18 years old. The whole family went to a nice restaurant together and then afterwards you went downtown with your friends. We never knew that birthday would be your last happy one for a few years, but we also never knew that your 23rd birthday would be one of the best that you have had in a long time!! You amaze me more and more everyday and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you’ll be even better by your 24th!!

Most people’s role models are their parents or maybe some famous old person, but my role model is a young, beautiful, intelligent 23 year old...Can you guess who that is?..YOU! You have taught me so many life lessons that you didn’t even know you were teaching me and I am so grateful to have you as my older sister!

So, as I was saying before, people make wishes on their birthdays and when I think about it most wishes really don’t come true. But on rare occasions, when the time is right, and maybe if the wish is not just a wish but somewhat more of a hope or a prayer that wish may just come true. I know this. I know this because every wish that I’ve made for my last 5 birthdays were all the same thing: “Please bless Jessica to be healthy, please bless this to be the year.” My wish finally came true and I couldn’t be happier! I love you with all of my heart and I will never stop loving you no matter what.

Happy Birthday!
Love, your sister Katherine


Dear Jessica,

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY! I cannot believe how far you have come in one year! Your 22nd birthday was only last year. Last year was a year of troubles and recovery! To think that only one year ago, only 365 days, you were in the hospital, that we thought that would be the only room you would see, room 845.

Now, the new year has brought a whole new time filled with happiness and joy. Birthdays are entertaining and filled with laughs, birthday cake and balloons. And after someone’s birthday what do they think of? How fast it went. Some of the fun of a birthday is the anticipation, well this birthday couldn’t have come sooner.

For my whole life, I have called you my wessie. You have been like a second mom and role model to me. I used to always think, “This will be the year, this will be the day”. Finally that day, and that year has come. Ever since I started to talk you’ve been my wessie, because as you know, I couldn’t say Jessica or “Jessie” so I called you “Wessie”. This birthday will be the best one in five years and I am so proud of you! I hope this birthday is the best one! Happy 23rd! Love you my wessie!

Love, your mini-wessie,


P.S. MOLLY -your beloved dog- says "Woof-Woof" to You Too!!!


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


cindel. said...

Happy Birthday Jess!
I can't properly put into words how happy, grateful and blessed I feel to share this very special day with you, and not only today but every day since the day I met you.
You're an extraordinary, wonderful and amazing person and I want you to know how happy I am to be like your 3rd sister, and the fact that our families have bonded as one, as weird as it is, it has been one of the most significant and beautiful things in my life.
I know that the road is wide and very long ahead of you, but the future seems very bright, and I want you to know I'll always be here for you, no matter what, to share laughter or silence, through good and through bad times, for everything.
I love you very much.

cindel. said...
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cindel. said...
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Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Reflecting over the past year, I could not help but notice how similar you look NOW to the picture on your blog before RSD (the one where you are holding your puppy). Wow, you look SO MUCH healthier than you did in the video clip that was posted on Fox News! No more sunglasses, no more hearing protection and you can even wear a New Years crown on your head. And your smile ….. that tells us so much (glimpses of more to come).

Jessica, I know this has not been an easy road and there is still more work to do but God is faithful and He will see you through. When you started this journey, you could only see this HUGE, rocky mountain in your path but you knew God was with you. Not only was God with you but he had already given you a mother – a mother like no other – full of love, compassion and grace. A great cheerleader to help move you forward. All the time He beckoned you both forward – and you both walked, in faith, eyes focused on Him. Sometimes there were setbacks and discouragement would set in but again, He would beckon you forward and you both continued to walk in faith.

May God continue to bless your journey to health. May you continue to feel His love and presence in your life. May 2011 be even better than 2010.

And maybe, someday someone will ask you … “where did you learn to speak Spanish so well?” and you will tell them … let me tell you this amazing story …

With love & prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Happy Miracle Birthday Jessica!!Can't wait to hear about all the fun things your Momma has cooked up for YOU! Love, Nancy and Joe!

Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica,

Happy 23'rd Birthday! It is fitting that you are viewing the world from high atop a hill looking at the beautiful mountains and clouds outside your window.
I suspect your wish for your birthday has already come true.

Just being able to sit up rather than laying down all the time, being able to eat or drink something you want, being able to watch T.V. or listen to music without increased pain....these things have become your new reality.

When we read the posts from your Mom, Dad and sisters (including Cindel) we think about how blessed you are to have such an amazing family. God has given you strength in many forms. He will continue to lead and guide you back to full health and renewed life.

We wish you continued love, hope, happiness, patience, resolve and the ability to always be able to see yourself healthy and vibrantly alive doing everything you have on your "to do" list!

Happy, Happy Birthday Jessica!!!!

We love you too!!!


Rosemary and John

Fern said...

Happy Birthday Jessica. Last year I posted an Irish blessing for you. Do you remember that? You have been on one wild ride, and I pray that this is the beginning of the upswing. I pray that you will have many years more to talk about this time of your life, to share your faith, to share your love. God has been preparing you for something very big! I wonder if this is the year you will see it more clearly. I wonder how God can remain so steadfast when the world is in chaos around and I thank him that He does! I thank Him for all those years he cradled you in His arms and never ever let go. I thank Him that he does that now. May this be a very special birthday in which you feel like the daughter of the King that you are. You are blessed because you belong to Him and we are blessed to know you and belong to Him as well. So, as your sister in Christ, I take this moment to send you my love and good feelings!


not a minx, a moron, or a parasite said...

Happy Birthday, Jessica! Wishing you all the best! May God bless you with continued strength, faith, and love. <3 - Trista

Marianne Caparrelli said...

Dear Jessica, Happy 23rd Birthday! I hope you enjoy your special day and that you will enjoy many many more birthday's ahead free of pain. You have come a LONG way. We are so proud of you. Your courage and strength is an inspiration to all. xo

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Jessica!
Happy Birthday to you!

Anonymous said...


Sending our love and best wishes to the one and only amazing you on your special day! How our hearts leap each time we read of your progress!

Always remember how much you are thought of, prayed for and loved (yes, even though we have never met I'm talking about love!!) back here at home.

Enjoy your special day . . . may all your dreams come true today & always!

The Klatt Family

P.S. Warmest belated birthday wishes to your fabulous, amazing, spectacular MOM!!

Anonymous said...


Happy Birthday Jessica. We pray you are having a day filled with happiness,fun and love.

Our birthday wish for you is a life filled wil hope,love, health and happiness.

Love Ashley,Paula,Ray,and Kevin C.

Olivia said...

happy birthday jessica!!! I love and miss you sooo much! i hope you had a great day! I can not wait to see you! Love youuu
-Olivia Server :)

Marianne E. Quinn said...

Happy 23rd Birhtday Jessica!
I hope you enjoyed your Special Day with Joy and Laughter! May God continue to Bless You with Inner Strength,Continued Healing, Faith, and Hope!
We Love You Jessica!

JennKurz said...

Happy 23rd Birthday Jessica. May God continue to bless you and may he continue to help you heal. It's so wonderful to read how much better you are feeling. Our prayers continue to be with you and your family and all of the others suffering with Lyme's disease and RSD. God Bless
Jenn, TnT

Robyn Weiner said...

Happy Birthday, Jessica! Everyone at Garden City Middle School wishes you good health and wonderful things in the coming year. You are a role model to our students.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica, HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! The happy tears are rolling down my face as I look at your beautiful birthday photo with Dr. Cantu in the background- kind of like a guardian angel watching over you, which he most surely is. All of us around the world who have linked our hands with you in friendship and our hearts with you in prayer are rejoicing this day as we see the proof of your healing in your lovely smile!!! God is so GOOD, He will always be with you, His beloved child. Although I know you never meant to be an example, your courage and perseverance have inspired so many of us. Your strength is extraordinary- when tested in the extreme, it has shown through with flying colors. I look forward to the day when I can see your beautiful smile in person again and give you a gigantic hug!! Happy birthday Gina, my special friend!! I know you had a wonderful one with Jessica's smiles as your greatest gifts!! I am sorry I haven't been on the blog lately. Peter had knee surgery six weeks ago Thursday. He is healing slowly. He still can't put weight on his leg but is looking forward to when he can!! I'm glad I'm back in touch... Keeping you in my prayers ALWAYS, Love, Angel xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stevens family for making your journey public. We are all routing for you,

Anonymous said...

Amazing Love
by Chris Tomlin

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.

Amazing love,
How can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love,
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.

Amazing love,
How can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love,
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.

You are my King
Jesus You are my King

Cousin Regina said...

Hi Jessica!

I sent you Birthday Wishes on the day of your birthday and I don't see them here. I'd like you to know that you are truly an inspiration to our family! I thank God for the miracle that has happened in one year's time! I am still praying for you and your family each day! God bless you and and the hospital staff as well!


Cousin Regina (Dad's cousin)

Daniel said...

Dear Jessica and Sara Ginah.
Thsi is Daniel, your friend from olombia Southamerica. I offered to you help with the hyperbaric oxygen tretament here, many months ago.
our common friend sarah Peterson, told me that you were doing much better finally after all that hell you went trhough, and i am amazed and very very happy to see you again much better..
Keep gettting better darling, and i hope we can share in the future in facebook, and if you need in teh future the HBOT, we are here to help you.

Hugs, and blessings. Im glad that your miracle if finally happening !


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!