Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!


Happy 2012 Everyone!

Yea, I know I am a few days late... but I have been so busy enjoying this New Year with my family that I have not had a chance to sit down and write! :)

I started out New Year's Eve morning by making Italian cookies with my Nanny from her very own recipe!

These are "Nanny Yum Yum" cookies! They turned out beautiful and were soooo delicious!!

I than got to watch my daughter/dog Molly take a bath!! We couldn't let her start out the new year smelling bad! I had forgotten how CUTE she is wet!

After her bath, we all sat around outside by the pool to let her dry in the warm Florida sun.

It was a wonderful day! I know these things might seem silly to be making such a big deal over.... but THESE are the visions I had in my mind that kept me going through years of illness.

These memories are the reason I wanted to live!

Later that night, as we counted down to midnight, everyone took turns giving me giant hugs and a lot of kisses!

Grandma hugging her "miracle" at midnight

Watching the ball-drop, together, was very emotional for us. Being home, I am realizing more and more just how much my illness and our time apart has affected everyone… on many different levels.

I know it has not been easy and everyone has dealt with it differently. But this year, I feel more blessed than ever to be a part of this amazing family!

I hope they always know how much I love them and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to allow me to make it into this New Year with them!!!

I LOVE this family!!!!

Near midnight, I made some special calls to my 'Mexican Family' to wish them a Feliz Año Nuevo! I even got to skype with Dr. Rainbow and talk with Dr. Cantu, Dr. Luigi and Cindel!

They are all always with me in spirit, as evidenced by our scrabble game... Dr. "Green Shirt" Cantu is never too far from our minds!!

After the ball had dropped, we all went outside and made a lot of noise and lit sparklers!

...Maybe some of us went a little more crazy than others... :)

We got to watch our very own "personal" fireworks show that a neighbor across the lake was putting on!

It was a perfect way to ring in the New Year!

New Years Day I was surprised with a very special visit from our dear friend Cecilia, her daughter Sandra and her new baby, Benjamin!

To get into the whole story of just how special Cecilia is to us would take up several pages. She is one of many people who has been a true God-sent angel to us and we love her so much!

Cecilia has seen me at every stage of my illness from Florida, to New York... even all of the way to Mexico, where she came to visit me and help us in 2009!

She was SO amazed to see me now, so well, able to do so much! She must have told me over 100 times how happy she was and how she just "can't believe it!"

Needless to say, having her, her daughter and her new grandson, here in my home with me, celebrating health, happiness and new life, was a perfect way to start out the new year!

None of us can ever know what the future will hold, but we can rest assured knowing WHO holds the future!

I would like to thank all for your generous support and love! 2012 is off to a great start for me and I believe that this is going to be an AMAZING year!! ....A year that would not have been possible without so many of you!

Feliz Año Nuevo!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!

In God's love,

Jessica


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing!" (Isaiah 43:18-19)

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17 comments:

Maureen O. said...

WOAH! This is an incredible update! Happy New year to you and your family! God bless you with togetherness and health in the new year!

Please continue to share all of your new and exciting memories and health with us.

You're an inspiration and will remain in our prayers, always!

Anonymous said...

How great is our God! You look great! Wishing you all happiness in 2012! God bless!

Anonymous said...

Your story is so incredible. I'm so happy to see that you're home and doing amazingly well.

Fern said...

Thanks for the pictures to accompany the words. God has blessed you all! We are very happy for you on this end, and share in your victorious return! You have been brave, courageous, wise and willing. Thank God you can now all be together.
Miss you!

Anonymous said...

So great Jessica! So happy for your family! May 2012 be the best year yet!

Anonymous said...

Now that the new year has arrived it is birthday month for you and mom. the best present is the presence of you altogether.
Happy birthday month ladies.

Hope to be in naples visiting my folks this winter. can't wait to see you
linda from saratoga

Rosemary and John said...

Dear Jessica,

It just keeps getting better and better! Happy New Year in every sense of the word!!!

May you continue to rise above all challenges with the Grace of an Angel. May you surpass your wildest dreams and continue to inspire those whose lives are yet in darkness.

We give praise to our God who has seen you though your darkest hour into the joy of today. This is just the beginning of your new journey into health, wellness, happiness and amazing achievements from baking cookies to ............???

The future is yours Jessica, it is finally yours!

So much love being sent your way!

Rosemary and John

AUNT CAROL said...

Jessica
YOU ARE AMAZING......We love you with every breath of life...Words cannot describe all the feelings and emotions on this wonderful Holiday gathering... Your smile is the light that guides us through each day..We love you so..............

sugei avitia said...

Hi, Jess
I'm so hapyy, that you are with you'r family now... enjoying a new life of amazing adventures..because everything you do, is like an adventure to us. we suffer when you are in pain, but when you are happy we can feel your joy. I know,that little by little you'll be like a new person and even stronger, because of your illness you understand everyone around you and became stronger. you became a heroe to all of us. I'm with you, and you are in my prayers every day. I follow you'r updates and feel hope, the hope of one day feel and be better like you. with all my love Sugei Avitia....
sugei12@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I often read your updates but have never left a message.

I would encourage you to write down everything you have accomplished since you were bed ridden!, God is using you and you have regained your function while helping so many people be inspired and appreciative of our good health and lives.

May the new year hold great things for you!

Anonymous said...

All the very best for the coming New Year. May it be one in which the love of your family and friends surrounds you and helps you continue this battle. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! We were so happy to see your update and see the beautiful photos! You all looked like you were having such fun, we wish we were there with you.

Always know you are in our thoughts and prayers daily . . . boy, those little steps have sure turned into gigantic leaps. You continue to amaze & inspire us!!

With our love,
The Klatts
XOXO

Jackie said...

Have just found your blog, I am now going to sit down and read the lot lol.... I have had CRPS for about 3 1/2 years, looking forward to following your journey. Anyway of to read the whole blog now. Am so glad things are looking up for you :)

cattLIKEMEOW said...

I came accross your story via youtube...Then decided to look for an update!!! How relieved I am!!!!
Everything worked out for you!!!!!!

I'm incredibly happy to read about your recovery! And that everything was just in time for you to celebrate Christmas with your family!!!

Sending lots of love & further positivity! :)

Anonymous said...

Its amazing!! Im so happy for you all. Its amazing how normal Jessica looks and seems, at least on the surface, even after the traumas she has went through!! Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

Anonymous said...

Sarah and Jessica, What a blessed NEW YEAR in your home with your wonderful family. We think of you so much and will Skype very soon. Happiest of birthdays to both of you. Grandma's cookies look divine!!

kisses and hugs,

Cathy and Devon

Rabbit Waren said...

Dear Jessica - you don't know me and I live many many miles away - like other I imagine who have found your blog, I have RSD I have had it now this year for longer than I haven't, and I struggle every day to get people to understand the pain doesn't go away, and to take little steps towards having a life - I will not start saying that I know how you feel, as if you're anything like me you'll HATE that phrase as it's not true... I'm really wishing that you can now start taking those baby steps to having a life, where each little personal success will mean more to you than people will understand.. like you, have learnt how lucky I am to have my family to support me and help me to be less frustrated... I hope your pain remains in remission and good luck at becoming a doctor ..... Karen from the UK


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!