Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Surgery Is Today!

Dear Family & Friends,

Jessica will be having her surgery today for removal of a granuloma at 4 pm. It will also be necessary for her to receive a blood transfusion before surgery due to low red blood counts, as well as plasma.

We ask for special prayers for her today. It is anticipated that the surgery will take at least 2 hours or maybe more depending on what they find and how deep they have to go.

Please pray also for Dr. Cantu, Dr. Balli, and Dr. Luigi and all that will be present in the operating room.

I will let everyone know how things go as soon as I can!

In God's love & trust,
Sarah Gina

P.S. Please pray also for Jessica's Dad who will be having his hernia surgery today as well at 1PM in N.Y.!

"God is our refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." Psalm 46:1
"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds", declares the Lord." Jeremiah 30:17

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Anonymous said...

Today is the day! Sounds like they have a good plan of action in place. We are praying that all goes well for Jessica and David and that God blesses your family with health.

Be strong. We are praying BELIEVING!

We look forward to the update.

May you feel His peace as He cares for your precious family.

With love and prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Still praying, praying, praying ...

Marianne E. Quinn said...

May Dr. Cantu, Dr. Balli, and Dr. Luigi have one of their best days today! May David's surgeon have one of his/her best days too! You are all in my prayers. I am praying that the surgeries are uncomplicated,the recoveries quick, and the hospital stays short! May the Care Takers' time waiting go quickly too! With Love and Prayers, Marianne

Anonymous said...

To the Stevens Family,
Remember - "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end." Lamentations 3:22. He will support all of you.
God Bless,
Linda W

Rosemary & John said...

"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds", declares the Lord." Jeremiah 30:17

These are the words for today.

Love, Rosemary & John

Anonymous said...

To Jessica, Sarah and family.
All the best for today's surgery. We are thinking of you, praying for you and know first hand that the great medical team will give Jess the best possible care.
Love Nikki, Julian & Emma

Anonymous said...

Still praying ...

Anonymous said...

I HOPE YOU GET BETTER JESSICA...I USUALLY CRIED A LOT WHEN MY HEAD USED TO HURT WHEN I HIT MYSELF. but when i think about it i know it is just not are a true have been fighting for more than a year and never gave are true inspiration for me and you are just like an angel that god sent to earth to give hapiness and joy (: love you and hope you get better

P.D...Mariana ( Olga"s daughter)

Jindraetvh said...

To the Stevens Family, Remember - "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end." Lamentations 3:22. He will support all of you. God Bless, Linda W

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!