Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Counting down the days!

Hi everyone!

We have officially begun the final countdown until my homecoming! My sister Michelle has calculated the exact days, hours, minutes and even seconds until I will be home with her. I am smiling now just thinking about my family, finally all together again. I can’t wait!

I can honestly say though, that only a few times in my life have I ever felt so overwhelmed with emotions that I feel almost speechless, (ask anyone- when I am well, I rarely shut up!)

Right now I feel like I am a baby bird who is about to leave the “nest” for the first time in her life. Excited, yet scared, happy, yet nervous, optimistic, yet cautiously…

I guess the good news is that more than 90 percent of the time, the baby bird DOES eventually fly. :)

When I came to Monterrey, I never saw the day I would fly out of the nest ever coming. My parents were told that at the rate I was deteriorating, I could maybe live just a few more months in that condition. I was just hoping to live.

We certainly never intended on having to stay in the hospital for 14 months, or in Mexico for 2.5 years! I never could have anticipated the complications, or how slow and difficult my recovery would be.

But I also never imagined that I would come to know, adore and truly love my doctors and so many people here.

They have been the ones physically with me these past 2 years, through hell and back, and I know my mom and I never would have made it through without them.

I may have come to Mexico just hoping to re-gain my life and health, but in the process I have been so blessed to have also gained a second “mexican” family!

I don't think I fully realized, until now, just how emotionally difficult of a trip this would be. I am just so... ? everything. It’s crazy! I’m so excited to be well enough to go back home!... but at the same time, I know I am really going to miss what has become my “mexican home” too. It’s bittersweet. I know that sounds weird.

So while we spend the days packing, and cleaning, and packing some more... I spend my nights remembering their smiles, kindness and love, memorizing the incredible view of the mountains, thinking about the many miracles that have taken place, and envisioning the looks of pure amazement on everyone’s faces at home when they see me!!!

Heck, I came to Monterrey as someone that even I wouldn’t recognize now!!

My health has not been the only thing that has improved. My life as a whole has as well. My dreams are bigger, my goals may be harder to reach, but I want them more, my memories are sweeter, my heart is happier and fuller and my God, he is greater.

How will these people ever know exactly how much I love them, or how they have changed me?!?

I have a different appreciation and understanding of life now... It always goes on. There will be no ‘goodbyes’ because I know these bonds are lifelong.

Everything is how it should be.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)

....I know I have.

So, for now, see you soon, hasta manana & thank you, for everything.

Love, Jessica

*To Post a Comment click on Comments below*


Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica,

What a true blessing it is that you are physically well enough to feel AND express your emotions as you prepare to literally "FLY" home!

Wow! We remember seeing that Fox news video of you and seeing the pictures of you boarding the "life flight" jet to take you and your Mother to Mexico. You are right. You no longer even resemble that young woman. The two of you have changed physically, emotionally and spiritually. Just look at the before and after pictures! But, more than that, the suffering you have both undergone has been tempered by such love & kindness of total strangers. Your doctors have come to love you (an absolute "no,no" in the States!), your nurses and total strangers have reached out to you and become close family. You were never alone before but now, you have two countries to call home! God has found a way to carry you both through these most difficult and painful and exhausting years and bring you out the other side, renewed and grateful for this journey! Your story has reached so many others and given so many people hope, inspiration and Faith! It has truly been an unfolding miracle to witness your recovery. Yes, there is more to be done; yes, the journey continues but now you know, without a shred of doubt that God has spared you and healed you for a reason greater than anything you ever imagined. You have survived through Faith and by taking this life one day at a time one tiny step at a time. Important lessons for all of us to practice.

Go spread your wings my dear! We know your Mom will photograph your first flight and we know you will land safely in your Florida nest!

May God continue to bless you, your Mom, your entire family (American and Mexican) and also your amazing Mexican medical team!

Love and hugs always,

Rosemary and John

Maureen O. said...

Oh, my, you always get my heart stirring with your writing. Have you considered writing a book?

For me, I always feel like the best part of Christmas is just in the "magic" of it all. And I know this Christmas will be magical for you and your family!

Jessica, I pray for you every day. You are so loved and cared about by so many-- in the US, Mexico and I am sure many other parts of the world too!

I wish for continuing better health for you and all the sick ones out there, especially the young.

Spread your wings, take a deep breath... and fly!

Anonymous said...

Wow what a fantastic dream coming true! What a wonderful Father we have in our Lord Jesus who sustains us.

Enjoy a wonderful Christmas and prosperous new year. The only way now is up, up and away, God bless you abundantly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica. My name is Dan. I have CRPS too. I'm really happy your going home.

Ive watched the blog a long time and What you have went thru is unimaginable. Im not too religious, but It's clear A force greater than yourself has helped you thru. What you have is real. Hold onto it.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

You have been very blessed in Mexico with many wo derful angels surrounding you! You have most certainly been a buge blessing in their lives too and I know they will never be able to forget you and your mom. They are a part of you now and you will take them with you back to New York, and Florida. Cant wait to hear that you are home and to see PiCTURES of the excited looks on everyones faces! I hope it will be all that you envisioned. God bless!

Anonymous said...

To go through what you have and be able to say and believe that 'everything is how it should be' is amazing. Enjoy your last days in Monterrey with you mexican family. We await news of your return to this side of the border, where your family waits for you with open arms :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Jess
I am so happy that you are able to go home. I know it is sad to leave all this great people in Mexico(after only 3 weeks I was also sad). Remember, you will see them frequently. You will keep all the Mexican memories in your heart.It is completely normal that you have this feelings. This was a special journey in your life with a wonderful happy end.
We miss you and your mum a lot.
You are great.
Love you, hope to see you soon.

Fern said...

Things will pick up speed now for you all. May you treasure in your hearts all that you have seen and done. All that you have all become through this. Your family has weathered this storm and God has seen you safely thus far. May you always feel His presence in your life and may you be able to continue to see the miraculous work God has begun in you. I look forward to seeing the next steps and sharing them with you

Anonymous said...

I think it's safe to say the the doctors and people there have come to know, adore and love you too!

Get home safe, rest, enjoy the holidays and rest some more--. We can't wait to hear all about it!

Anonymous said...

20 words that will change your life-


No worries!

Anonymous said...

Your thankful and positive attitude is an inspiration! I pray that God will continue to work out the details for your trip home, your continued treatment, infection prevention, rehabilitation and any other challenges that you will need to overcome!

Anonymous said...

Just popping by to say "hello" and to let you know we are still praying for you as always. Your post about your Mexican friends was so special. I am sure they will cherish your kind words forever. There is absolutely nothing like a family's love as you already know. You have such a beautiful family- both of them. Happy Holidays

Anonymous said...

I am a believer that everything in life happends for a reason. We may or may not end up knowing that reason while here on earth, But perhaps later in Heaven we will really undrestand.I don't think it's weird at all Jessica to have the feelings you are experiencing. After all you have gotten comfortable in your life in Mexico. Whenever we are face with a change as large as yours, we will have differculty with the transition. Change is hard,nessassary & good all wrap in together. I can not believe you are finally coming home!! to be together with your family & people who love you here in Florida. How GRAND our God is to bring you back & to be with the people you love. I Look forward to meeting you & your Mom after all this time. When you are ready I am here for you!!

Anonymous said...

...just LOVE your posts!!! ...my prayers ALWAYS!!! just so proud of you (and your family) Blessings! so much!!!

Maria said...

Te queremos mucho Jessy!
Siempre contigo.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, give thanks unto The Lord, for He is good;  for His love endures forever."  Ps. 107:1 

With my prayers and a gentle hug from cold Indiana, USA 

Anonymous said...

Dearest girl,

Who could possibly find the words to say all that our hearts are feeling?! You & your family are truly amazing. There is no doubt that every dream of yours is certainly going to come true. Every single one!

Both you & your story continues to inspire us each and every day ... our thoughts & prayers will always be with you.

I was just telling my family this week that I hope one day we will be reading your story from cover to cover. I told her that you have a way with words that leaves me ALWAYS wanting more! No matter what you set your goals for, we all believe with all our hearts that they will be yours!

Warmest wishes to you & your Mom for a safe journey home!

Our love,
The Klatts

Anonymous said...

God bless you :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sending a hug along with the most powerful positive thoughts and prayers that I can send. This is the season for miracles!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jessica and Sarita, to have you home again is a dream come true!! God is smiling at all our happy hearts and your energetic faith!!

We will see you soon and rejoice and sing praises to our Loving Lord!!

xoxo Nancy & Joe & Mr. Tinker

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jessica and Gina, I am SO VERY HAPPY for you that you are FINALLY GOING HOME!!!! I know how much you have missed your family at home, and how much they have missed you, awaiting that special day when you could all be together again. That day has come AT LAST!!!! There have been many miracles in your experiences over the past few years, but one of the biggest is the miracle of your attitude towards all that has happened. Experiences that would make others angry and bitter have made you thankful and reflective, and worshipful. You set a standard for behavior in adversity that we can- and must- hold up as an example for our own. Many times in life we don't choose our situations, but we choose the way we react to them. Imagine what kind of place the world could be if, whenever people are faced with seemingly impossible difficulties and situations as yours, we all reacted as you have? What a faithful, hopeful, and loving place it would be!! Enjoy your special Christmas with your family- you deserve it!!!!! Give everyone a big hug for me!!! Love always, Angel xoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

In Christ’s name★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★we pray for you★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門|

Jane said...

Jessica - Reading that you're "cleared for take-off" and will arrive home for Christmas gives me goosebumps of joy and gratitude for all those who have made it possible. You, with your indomitable spirit, and your mother, with her love and perserverence, are inspirations. As your journey continues, my hopes and dreams for you continue as well. Godspeed!

David Stevens said...


You have run the race put before you. During your entire journey you never cursed God or doubted His strength. You are blessed and you have been a blessing to others.

I can't wait to have you and Mommy home!

Wow, what a Christmas present.

Love Daddy

Anonymous said...

As I sent my Christmas card to the Florida address I wondered if Dad would send them on to Mexico. What a great surprise to read that you will be in Florida to read them yourself!
I know how much mom loves Christmas and this one will be the best.
Love to all,
Merry Christmas Happy HEALTHY 2012.
love from Saratoga

Lesterlycg said...

Things will pick up speed now for you all. May you treasure in your hearts all that you have seen and done. All that you have all become through this. Your family has weathered this storm and God has seen you safely thus far. May you always feel His presence in your life and may you be able to continue to see the miraculous work God has begun in you. I look forward to seeing the next steps and sharing them with you

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!