Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jessie : On Her Way to Texas This Friday!!!!!

I'm sure that by the time most of you have read this, you will already know what I'm about to tell you. It seems that these days, the television news is faster than me!! I knew that I was getting old and slow, but this is ridiculous!

OK, as reported by CBS 13 in Baltimore and CBS 11 in Dallas, and whomever else, Jessie IS coming home to Texas on Friday!!!! Hooray!!!!!! Praise our Father in Heaven!!!

Her Fevers are less frequent, and right now, everything is a GO to leave KKI on Thursday, and fly back to Dallas on Friday, and check in to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for another couple of weeks of in-patient rehab. We are so excited!!!

For those of you who saw the report tonight, I know that you share in our joy to see Jessie ride a rehab bike and walk with assistance. It is truly a miracle of God and modern medicine. Jessie still has a long way to go, but she has come SO FAR!

I have heard that some of you want to get Jessie something as a way to say "Welcome Home!", and we appreciate the thought so much. Jessie has been so blessed by the outpouring of support through various gifts and we are so grateful. We ask, however, if you want to do something in Jessie's name, please donate to The Hemispherectomy Foundation. The donation IS tax deductible, and it will go to help many other children and their families. Jessie's room can only hold so many stuffed animals. :-)

To donate to The Hemispherectomy Foundation:

Send your tax deductible donation to:

The Hemispherectomy Foundation
PO Box 1239
Aledo, TX 76008

or buy a t-shirt or bracelet from The Pinkalicious Boutique. All proceeds benefit The Hemi Foundation.


For those of you who read the comments, we were honored to have Dr. Hsu leave Jessie a comment tonight. He, of course is the doctor who assisted Dr. Carson with Jessie's surgery, and let our little girl write Texas Tech on his forehead. A real humbling experience for a Michigan man! Thanks Dr. Hsu

Also, please say a prayer tonight for the Johnson family in Schertz Texas (near San Antonio). Westley, 8, is struggling with intractable seizures and his family is struggling to do the best for him. They have done so much already, and refuse to give up. Let's raise them up to God as well and hope that they find some peace for Westley and the whole family.

To give you an idea of the diversity of health issues that go on here at KKI, I'm going to pass on a YouTube video from one of the patients here. This is Isabella, and she is the cutest little 4-year-old girl that you will ever meet. On the outside, there appears to be nothing wrong. She's always smiling and so outgoing...but here is her story. Get ready for a cry when you watch this one. Remember, every kid and family up here has a story. Please pray for Bella to learn to eat! Seems simple...but it's not.

Of course she is at KKI, so here is a follow up video to make you smile :


Here are some pictures of Jessie at Rehab in Kennedy Krieger : Work & Play!

Here is Jessie on the Split Belt Treadmill. She does this once a day.

This thing is PT (Physical Torture). They let me try it and within 1 minute and 20 seconds, my left thigh was burning like a had run 10 miles. No kidding...and I used to run marathons. They make Jessie do it 3 times...2 and a half minutes each time!!

The right belt moves faster, which causes her to work her left leg out bears weight longer.

Here's a back view. Two different belts going 2 different speeds. It's important to note that this is experimental, and Jessie is part of a study that hopes to show the effectiveness of the machine.
This is not mainstream rehab equipment.

Standing Practice!

"Oh, Well, at least I get to watch movies..."

And now the play time. The Child Life people at KKI are amazing and are really inovative in their ways of making the kids feel normal and not institutionalized. They have weekly outings and many planned activities throughout the week. This is a water fight that the kids really enjoyed. I kinda had fun too.

Macey and Jessie in the heat of battle.

"Don't you dare, Macey!!!" Watch Out Isabella (Bella) is filling up behind you!


Good night and I hope to see most of you in Texas Soon. Thanks to all of Jessie's Angels for carrying us through this difficult journey.

God Blessings to All,



Anonymous said...

I am so happy I have tears streaming down my face! I bet your entire family...especially JESSIE...can't wait to get back home! We are ready for y'all to come back too! I keep my 7 yo niece up to date on Jessie and she wears her pink bracelet everyday! Shw wants to meet Jessie so bad when she gets back! I hope we can! Take care and my prayers are with you all throughout the day!
Ft. Worth

Anonymous said...

YAHOO!!!! Going HOME!!! We are so very happy for you, however,we are so sad that we will miss our new family! Just remember everyday when the sunsets, "The sun will set for you!" and we will be sharing the moments each step of the way from Baltimore to Texas everyday!!

Jane, Samie & Nickie

Anonymous said...

All I can say is ....WHOOO HOOOOO! Praise our Heavenly Father for continuing to provide many blessings each and every day. Jessie looks so beautiful.

Blessings to you all!

Kristin Egli
Grapevine, TX

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to read that Jessie is doing so well! I will pray that she makes amazing progress during the coming weeks of rehab. I have been following your blog over the past week as we are at a very similar point in our lives. Our 20 month old daughter just had a hemispherectomy July 9th for medically refractory epilepsy caused by cortical dysplasia. She too is just beginning the rehabilitation process. Thanks for making all of your experiences publicly available. I applaud you for starting the hemispherectomy foundation and I would love to participate in any way possible.
God Bless!
Kelly O'Melia (Gabrielle's Mom)

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for the whole family!!! It will be so much easier that close to home. The boys can come see her, you can run home, people can come see her. That is such great news. Jessie is looking great. She is such a little trooper!! Thank you for sharing the story of Isebella. That was to touching. I am so happy they were able to make steps forward.

Ya'll have a great day!!

Love from Texas
The Campbell's

Anonymous said...

Baltimore will certainly miss having such a beautiful girl in its midst. Congratulations, Jessie. Here's to a lifetime of happy days.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that you are able to finally go home Jessie!!! Baltimore will miss you!! I hope you keep blogging so that I can keep up with your progress. You will remain in my prayers!! Tell your brothers I said Hello.
Love, Jo Ann - Edgewood, MD

Anonymous said...

Jessie I'am so happy to hear you are going back to Texas. Jessie you look GREAT. I have been reading your Blog every day. You are such a brave little girl!!!! My daughter and I wear our pink bracelet every day. When people ask about them both of us tell them all about Jessie, we also tell them about your blogs. I will keep on praying for Jessie and all of you family every day. Thank you very much for sharing your story. Baltimore loves you Jessie. God Bless. Have a safe trip. Fran. Catonsville Md

Jenny said...

God is SO good! I am over the moon to hear that Jessie is coming home this week. Yay!!! :)

Prayers are being sent your way that everything goes smoothly with her release and your trip back here to Texas.

Anonymous said...

This was such great news to hear. Jessie looks great!! I am so happy that she (and all of you) will finally be able to go home.

She touched my heart the first time I saw her on WJZ and will always hold a special place in my heart. I just wish I could have met you all and your little girl before you head home. I bought one of her pink bracelets and wear it everyday to remind me of your strong, brave, adorable little girl!

I wish you all the best and please keep updating this blog if you can. I know all of her friends in MD would love to keep in touch with all of you!:)

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to hear that Jessie will be going home, but sad because we will miss a beautiful and very courageous little girl. With many tears I have read everyone of your blogs and feel like I know your whole family. Thank you for sharing Jessie's story with us and for allowing us into your lives. Also for proven that when we think that our life is bad someone else's life is worse. May God keep watching over your family. Please keep Baltimore up dated on Jessie's progress.
With lots of love and prayers,
Hanover, MD

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessie, Kristi & Chris,
Baltimore will sure miss all of you.
You all have a very special place in
my heart. I know Texas will be happy
to have you back... Jessie, you look great!
I am so proud of you for all of the
hard work you have done in rehab.
Keep up the hard work, you will be
back in the swing of things in no
time. Thank you Kristi & Chris for
sharing your beautiful daughter with us. I pray you have a safe trip back home, and that God keeps working his miracles with Jessie. God bless all of you. Please continue to let us know how Jessie is doing.

Anonymous said...

Jessie and Family I am sooooo happy for you that you are going to be home again...glad to see that you are on the road to recovery!! We here in internet land have been following and blogging your story and hope to still do so....I live close to DFW so don't be surprised if you see me there on Friday with a million other people!!! Keep up the good work!!! God is good!!! Peggy in Corinth, TX


Chris I came across a report on the internet about Bella that says that after her mom made that video and it hit the internet the insurance company recanted and she is now going to be admitted to KKI that was as of May 26!! So that is good news too!!

Anonymous said...


YEAH JESSIE!! We can't wait to have you home!! We know Baltimore has been good to you, but we can't wait to say "Welcome Home"!!!!

Anonymous said...

we will see you sat am jessie- soon you can have that long awaited SLEEP OVER!!!! we love you and can"t wait to hug you and see you saturday -- have a great trip back to texas!!!!!!!!!!!love , alexandra !!!!!!!!!xoxoxoxoxoxoox

Anonymous said...

This is great news!!! It is always so nice to get back home! Please keep us updated when you have the time as she has captured our hearts! Keep going, Jessie! You are on your way!


Anonymous said...

Jessie.......... I am so HAPPY to hear you are heading home i know you and your whole family will be very happy just think your STINKY BROTHERS can come see you more often now .BALTIMORE will miss ya and your parents also .Jessie you are ONE VERY STRONG LITTLE GIRL who has been thru so much and with everyones help and with GOD LOOKING over you he has let you move on .God Bless JESSIE we all love ya stay strong .Best Wishes and i look forward to reading your blogs and i will be ordering a few braclets .God Bless Jessie and mom and dad .

Baltimore Md

Anonymous said...

I have fallen in love wiht your little girl! Please keep up your blog so ALL can watch her wonderful recovery. Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Up until April when I transferred to a different building, I sat just down the hall from Kristi at work. The coworkers in my group shared cubicle walls with Kristi. I saw your family picture on her desk a million times. However, until the campus-wide announcement was made this week, I had no clue what was going on.

This tells me two things: 1.) Kristi's strength. Wow, Kristi, despite sleepless nights and worry-filled days, you came to work with your beautiful smile and persevered through the pain. You continued to work hard and show us your gentle and quiet spirit. (I'm sure Cris was the same way at his workplace.) You are an inspiration of endurance and joy.
2.) I'm self-absorbed. I would see you in the halls, or we'd be washing our hands in the ladies' room at the same time, and I never stopped to ask how you or your family were doing. Your story inspires me to get to know my colleagues and other employees I see in my daily routine. I am inspired to live for today, bearing others' burdens and sharing my own, rather than living in my own world, just enduring work while waiting for the weekend to arrive.

Jessie, you are a beautiful little girl. I read your blog from bottom to top (took me three days to read- way to go, Cris, for sharing so much detail!) I'm praying for you. When it gets hard, ask God for help and watch your Mom and Dad- they know how to get through hard times.

Thank you for sharing your lives with us in this blog. I'm sure you'll never know how many people God touched, changed, and blessed through you.
Paige McKinzie

Rachel said...

I felt compelled to post my first post.

My son was briefly admitted to Cooks yesterday. While we were there I mentioned that I followed Jessie's story...


Thank you for sharing your journey, it is so inspiring to others.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! We hope to see you soon!!

Dee Dee

Anonymous said...

Jessie - I am so glad you are coming home that is wonderful news. I know God will contiune to be with you, an heal you. I was so happy about this news. I will continue to pray and hope that God will strengthen your legs so you can walk again. God Bless, T

Anonymous said...

Jessie - I am so glad you are coming home that is wonderful news. I know God will contiune to be with you, an heal you. I was so happy about this news. I will continue to pray and hope that God will strengthen your legs so you can walk again. God Bless, T

Megan Lacefield said...

Jessie, Jessie, Jessie...I can't wait to see you and tell you myself....I am sooooooo proud of you!

Miss Megan

Anonymous said...

HEY! It's Thursday night. Are you packed? Abby and I are so glad you get to go home. TRULY the best therapy is family. She'll be working hard to keep up with those big brothers. GO JESSIE!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for all of you. I live in Baltimore and have followed your story daily - reading your blog first thing each morning to see what amazing things God has done. Your entire family is a true inspiration.

I will continue to pray for you and wish you much success in the future.

God has smiled down on Jessie - you can see it!

Anonymous said...

TODAY IS THE DAY!!! (Friday!) YAHOO!! It is so touching to read how excited everyone is to have you home! Have a safe flight and we miss you already!!

Jane, Samie & Nickie

Anonymous said...

We've been out of town for 10 days and just returned home to catch up on Jessie's prgress. Praise God for His faithfulness in our times of greatest need. We are so excited for all of you to come home. My daughter was distressed on our trip thinking she had lost her "Jessie bracelet" only to find it later. We have prayed for you from all parts of the country as so many others have.

After catching up on the blog replies, one of Kristi's coworker's responses really made me think of so many ways this journey has afffected me. God calls us to be engaged in others lives but so often we get caught up in our own that we miss opprotunites to really reach into the hearts of others. I want to be more available to others as a result of this and seeing how just one or two people, like Caren and Jane, have made an impact on your family. Also - after watching some of the Youtube clips, it has made me more aware of the dire health circumstances so many of our precious children are facing. Many families don't have the support you have had, I'm sure. If we would all commit to praying for these children and families, along with Jessie, I know we will see God's healing in many other lives and hearts. Above all, bringing more hearts to Him.

Thank you for sharing this journey with the world in such an honest and at times, heart wrenching, way. May God continue to bless your marriage and family greatly.

Anonymous said...

God Bless all of you. I have been following your story since it was first air on WJZ here in Maryland. You have a very brave little girl! I wish her all the happiness in life. Please keep us updated in the blog. Maryland will miss you Jessie. Be safe!

Anonymous said...

WOW...Jessie, you were on all the local TV channels at 10PM tonight!
What a celebrity you are! I am so glad you are back in Texas. I have followed your progress on your blog but I have never met you. I still feel like I know you from your pictures and all the wonderful things your dad has written about you. God bless you always.

Rita & Amber in Mineral Wells

Anonymous said...


It was incredible to see Caren and her girls meet up with you at the airport with that wonderful banner!

Kristi's tears of joy on TV news tonight really said it all..... "There's no place like home". It's great to know you are all back here in Texas safe and sound. Jessie, we will continue to read up on your progress at Cooks and pray for your continued progress so you can get back to your pinkilicous bedroom!

Can't wait to have you back at church too!

Love to all,

Lee Ann
Aledo, TX

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Jessie!!! Yahoooooo!!!! Saw your story on the news tonight on WFAA Channel 8 and then went to your blog to read all about your incredible journey. You're an amazing little lady and I know you'll continue to heal and strenghen each and every day! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm so happy for you and your family sweetie! God's grace is an amazing thing!

Hugs and prayers,

Alice - Garland, TX