Thursday, December 1, 2011


…and NOT only in my dreams!!!!!

We have booked our flights home!! (Again!)

It had been a bit crazy here with a rough week after I had my bisphosphonate infusion. I had a rare reaction that caused my white blood count to drop very low and I was pretty sick with a fever for 10 days. Thank God I am much better this week and feeling back to my normal (or abnormal?) self again.

Dr. Cantu came over to check in on me and told us that my white count has now recovered- to a more normal level- all on it’s own!! Which is really great news!

We all decided that I will not be having another dose of that medication again. We will figure out something else at a later date.

For now, the most important thing is that I will be able to come home for Christmas!!!

The other day, our great friend Rosemary offered to help us book our trip to save my mom some aggravation.

It was so nice of her. We knew that this was not a small undertaking!

She proceeded to call Delta airlines from her home in Pennsylvania, with us watching her via video skype chat from Mexico (isn’t technology great?!)

A guy named Mike picked up the phone and she spent the next 10 minutes explaining RSD and all of my special medical requirements for the flight.

“I know this is a lot… and there are going to be some problems… ” Rosemary said.

Mike’s response back was quick and in a cheerful voice he said, “No! Don’t worry! On my line, I don’t have problems...I only have solutions!”

He wasn’t kidding!- Within about 30 minutes we had our new flights booked and Mike had spoken with his supervisor about all of the medical details.

Everything worked out- perfectly! Not one problem!

Even better yet, after hearing our story, Mike said he was honored to be a part of my homecoming and completely waved the fee’s that we owed the airline for canceling our previous flights! We would also be able to sit in the 1st row of first class on both flights! Awesome!

We thanked him for all of his help and gave him the link to this blog, so he could follow my progress and journey home.

Mom and I are still kind of in shock at how easily it all seems to be coming together this time around! We are so thankful, so happy and soooo excited to be coming home! Finally!!!

Please join us in praying that God continues to clear the path before us and for everything to continue to go this smoothly as we make our way home… for Christmas!!! ahhhh! I still can’t believe it!!

See you all very soon!

In God’s Love,


"This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses---“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isaiah 43:16-21)

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Rosemary and John said...

Wow Jessica and Sarah!

I am truly honored for the second time this week! First, it was a privilege to be able to assist you in making plans to COME HOME! Now, you make a big fuss about me and made me blush!

Seriously, what a whirlwind it has been following your journey with all the ups and downs and in betweens.

John and I have dreams of what it will be like for both of you and your family to reunite on U.S. soil. It will be just like a movie unfolding in real time. I hope a very close family member is there with a video camera. We know it is very important to you that this be kept low key and that you do not want a lot of fanfare. It is a good idea to make that request of everyone as you all have a right to privacy and you need time to reunite and catch up and hug and be alone with one another.

We are overjoyed for all of you. It is a big undertaking but if anyone on earth can pull it off, it is your amazing Mother! God bless you and your Mom and your family and your doctors. We cannot wait to see this new chapter unfold!

All our love,

Rosemary & John

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is wonderful news! I am thrilled for you, your mom and your family. I pray for you every day. God bless and please keep up the journal so we can follow your progress at home!

Anonymous said...

I am so very happy to hear this news. It can only mean that God is gearing up to provide! It will happen this time!. Don't look for what you believe to be better but what a mysterious and awesome God might consider better as He alone sees the whole picture!!

Prayers and blessings as you trust...

Anonymous said...

So happy your homegoing Miracle will be ready by Christmas!! Wont that be sweet. Just know it is in progress is wonderful. Jessi I will continue to think on you and pray for you

Anonymous said...

i have been praying for you every day and night jessica i feel realy sorry for u i only knnow of you from your blog but ur wishes is all slowly coming true and its good that ur getting home hope u all the best pet god bless xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Jessica, This is Mike from Delta.. the no problem line guy.... God Bless you Jessica. Not a say has gone by that I have not prayed for you. I hope you have a pleasent trip home....
Mike Chester
Tampa Res

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!