Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thanks For All Your Prayers

Just wanted to quickly update and let everyone know that Jessica had her surgery last night.

She was given a blood transfusion in the morning to correct her low blood counts and just prior to surgery was given 3 units of plasma so that she would not lose a lot of blood.

Before going down to the operating room we had a special visit from Pastor Long who prayed over Jessica. Dr. Balli happened to be in the room talking to Jess pre-surgery when Pastor Long arrived, so she asked him to pray over his hands- that God would guide and direct them during the surgery. This was very special to her, and Pastor Long told us that it is rare to have this opportunity to pray over a surgeon's hands. And later that afternoon, Jessica asked to see Dr. Cantu before her surgery - so that she could pray over his hands too!!! We know that God has been with Jessica every step of this journey and that he was with her and the doctors in the OR tonight..

Dr. Balli, says from a surgical standpoint, the surgery went well and the granuloma in her stomach was successfully removed. Dr. Cantu administered massive amounts of both general and local anesthesia to sedate her and numb the area to block and control the surgical pain.

She is back up in room 845 and is resting. She will continue to be on a Ketamine drip and will be receiving boosters for the next few days.

I will update again soon on Jessica and her RSD- status post surgery. Please continue to pray that she does not have flare up from this and that she does not develop any infections while in the hospital.

My husband, David, also had his hernia surgery yesterday afternoon. My daughters Katherine and Michelle and Katherine's boyfriend, Paul, are with him and he will hopefully be discharged sometime tomorrow.

Thank you all for your support, love and continued prayers. They are heard, felt and answered in ways we never could have imagined. I would like to thank my "Mexican Family" who came to sit with me in the waiting room during Jess's surgery. Dr. Rainbow-Jessica's Mexican "Abuelita", Barbara, Cindel, Lalio, Marus and Paulina... God has truly blessed us with so many wonderful people in our lives, we are forever grateful.

In God's Love,
Sarah Gina

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe."- Psalm 61 1-3

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Anonymous said...

Sarah & Jessica,

Glad the surgery went. We are all having an early morning. Praying the boosters go well and lots of relief. Love you all.

Hugs, Suzie & Patty

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the update.

I am so glad to hear there was a time of prayer with the doctor before surgery and that you had so many "family" members there to be with you and comfort you while you waited. Isn't God amazing!

We will continue to pray that all continues to go well for both Jessica and David.

We know God is merciful, abounding in love and compassion.

With love and prayers,
The Turners

Anonymous said...

Psalm 6:9
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
Psalm 28:6
Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.

Marianne E. Quinn said...

Dear Gina and Jessica,

We Thank The Lord because He is Good, Compassionate,Merciful, and Almighty!

With lots of Love and Prayers,

Anonymous said...

Still praying ...

Fern said...

Isn't God amazing?! He orchestrated something that only He could. What a blessing for Jess that she could pray over the hands of those who she would be submitting to. I am so thrilled to hear that both she and David came through successful surgeries! Now we will pray for healing and quickly! Sending warm hugs your way today!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Pennsylvania all my life before moving to AZ 15 yrs ago. Diagnosed with Fibro and big cognitive changes in May 2007. Thanks to Jessica's story I have taken it upon myself to get the proper lymes testing ordered from a PA lab. The lymes titer here in AZ does not come close to the accuracy of the PA blood tests. The symptoms of Lymes (which my son got in the woods of New Hampshire @ 11 yrs old and was treated immediately withseveral weeks of antibiotics) are also the same as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. No Doctor here ever asked me where I lived all my life and I didn't have a bullseye rash which is supposedly seen. I was urged to read the book CURE UNKNOWN-INSIDE THE LYME EPIDEMIC by Pamela Weintraub. What an eye opener! We have a Lymes expert here in Scottsdale, AZ. Thank God for my Pennsylvania friend who was misdiagnosed with fibro and had lymes...she guided me in the right direction. Jessica's story helped confirm my thoughts. My friend here in AZ wrote her book...RSD in Me (Barby Ingle).She just had successful Ketamine Coma in Philadelphia for her RSD. I sent her Jessica's article...hope she responds. God Bless, Shelley from Glendale, AZ

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, You are in my heart. This road you are on is epic-- full of twists and turns, red lights and green lights, open highways and narrow paths, well-lit and unlit, paved and rough. You have kept your faith, trusted, and hoped, and held on for dear life. God, our Great Navigator, has led you through it all. In this newest leg of the journey, He brought you back to the Hospital San Jose and given you a new perspective. Now you can see the whole (hospital) rather than just a part (ICU, ER, your room). He has given you the opportunity to actively pray with and for your doctors in a physical sense, using your voice and your hands. He has made you aware of so much that is going on there that you could have not known of before. He has shown you beautiful smiles of caring and happiness on the hospital staff in place of the worry and concern on your behalf before. Although some things have remained the same, much has truly changed. God has stayed with you on that rocky road, helped you squeeze through the narrow paths, given you light in the dark. He is still leading, and will see you through this time as well. As you are so aware, miracles are happening every day!! I will continue to pray for you both, as well as for your Dad and sisters, who love you so much. Take care and hang in there!! Love always, Angel xoxoxoxoxoxo

Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica & Sara Gina,

So thankful all went well with your surgery. God's mercy shines through in your smile and heart. You are both so brave. This has surely been a frightening trip back to the hospital but you have faced it with poise and grace, as always.

Jessica, we are hoping and praying that you are discharged soon and can recover in your own special Mexico home your Mom has created for you! We are very grateful for the many special friends you have made while there and for all the love & support they give you.

We will continue to pray for healing, for all your family, both physically and emotionally. May the days ahead be filled with new wonder and promise and hope and dreams that come true.

Much love always,

Rosemary and John

Anonymous said...

Hi sweet Jessica, so thankful to hear how well this piece of your journey has gone. Just as your room has been updated for a fresh new look and feel so has your progress to even greater healing and hope. I love how you put in a blog a long time ago that HOPE is Having Only Positive Expectations. This is what we all have for your progress.

To be able to pray over Dr. Greenshirts hands is a gift to him that he will never forget too.
Praise be to God for he is good, and love to you and Daddy as you both continue on your journeys of wellness!
Giving Thanks for the Blessings and Hugs to Mommy Sarita!
Love Nancy and Joe and Team Jessica!!

JJ said...

David, Jessica & Family,

I am praying for you all day--you've been on my mind. I am hoping for you that this will pull you through, and that God brings you healing.

It's tiring, I know; but God is by your side; as are many friends and family; in spirit, if not in body...

Rest, heal, and I hope and pray this goes well for you.


Anonymous said...

Still praying ...

Susan Worrell said...

Sarah & Jessica, Glad the surgery went. We are all having an early morning. Praying the boosters go well and lots of relief. Love you all. Hugs, Suzie & Patty

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!