Jessica Wallace

Jessica was born on July 24, 1989 at 8:08am and weighing in at 7lbs. 3.5 oz.  She was born with jet black hair and beautiful brown eyes.  Sadly those eyes closed for the last time on Oct. 28th 2008 at 10:45pm.  We had 19 wonderful years with Jessica.  Medically, she had to have a trach put in at 4 weeks and a g-tube at 6 weeks.  The doctors knew within 48 hours of her birth that she had Moebius syndrome.  They told us she would never walk or talk…never be able to eat by mouth..but that mentally she was fine.  By the time she was 3 months old she was on oxygen and at 6 months ended up on a vent because of RSV in her lungs.  She was on the vent 24hrs a day and so after 6 months in the hospital we went home with a vent.  After about two years we were able to wean her down to using the vent only at night to give her a break from breathing.  Jess did learn how to walk..it just took a little longer.  By age 3 she was walking with a walker and not long after that was able to walk on her own, with minimal assistance!  The next 9 years seem to fly by..Jess did great using the vent only at night.  She went to school every day and loved it.  About age 13 Jessica started getting chronic lung infections.  She was hospitalized over and over again.  The infections took a toll on her lungs and she had to go back to 24hr ventilation with oxygen.  Jess did ok until her last two years.  It was then that her lungs started having much more trouble.  She had MRSA in her lungs and bouts of Pseudomonas.  She had a PICC line off and on for IV medication.  Suddenly, in August of 2008 Jess was once again brought into Children’s Hospital in Chicago

for what we thought was another lung infection.  After 24hrs in the hospital she crashed – her blood pressure dropped to 70/35 and she was placed in a medically induced coma to try to stabilize her.  Ten days later they finally diagnosed her with pancreatitis, and took out her gallbladder.  After five and a half weeks in the hospital she finally came home.  Jessica had to have all of her meds by IV and TPN for nutrition as she was unable to handle food in her belly.  She seemed to be getting better and we were so excited that she would be able to start eating through the g-tube again.  Jess was home for only 4 weeks and then suddenly passed out on a Monday morning.  The paramedics brought her in to the local hospital and she was quickly transported to Children’s hospital.  The doctors said the pancreatitis was once again causing her problems…but this time it was much worse.  Her pancreas had ruptured.  Jess was given blood and platelets to make up for what she lost, but by Tuesday morning the doctors told us that they would be unable to help Jessie.  The bleeding wasn’t stopping and her organs were shutting down.  Too much damage was done and she would not survive an operation.  It was suddenly time to say goodbye.  Nineteen wonderful years with my baby came to a screeching halt. 

So much medical stuff …. So much for any child to endure…  But through all this she was ready to fight every day..To learn how to walk when the doctors said she would not.  We were so blessed to have Jessica in our lives.  I wish every day that we could have her here with us, but I know that she is waiting for us in heaven.  Her life with us was wonderful – I am so proud to be her mom.  Jessica loved to play in the pool during the summer and had a great tan every year.  She loved to swing on the swing and go for long rides in the car with dad or her brother Matt – with the music blasting !!  She loved music and played the chimes at her school.  Jess even got to ride around the neighborhood on the back of the scooter with her dad.  She loved that !  Everyone knew Jess..she was always out side in the good weather – riding her bike or getting a ride in the wheelchair. (Jess had a wheelchair because it was too hard for her to walk any distance on her own because of the lung problems.) 

We never thought about all the crazy medical stuff as a burden.  Jess was our daughter and we would do anything for her.  I never imagined that Jess would be pass away at such a young age.  I also hoped that one day her lungs would get better.  We wanted to make her time here a happy time.  I hope we did.  Jessica taught us so much about life and living.  She taught us about the true meaning of love…pure – unconditional love.  Having a special child has been our greatest gift.  We miss Jessica every single day.  The memory of her lives in our hearts forever…the touch of her hand on mine…her sweet kisses and hugs…and the love in those beautiful eyes…those eyes that said so much!   Yes, it is true…her smile came from her heart.

Click here to watch a video tribute to Jessica.


There once was a girl who had no smile
Emotion, feelings, happiness, despair, tears, eyes, ears, nose, mouth……
She has it all
But still she has no smile

She had a bed with pink sheets and blankets and pillows
More movies than anyone and great parents
But with all of this
Still she had no smile

Why doesn’t she smile the kids would say
Why does she stay inside and wont come out to play
Its not her choice their parents would answer
That girl has a disease and that’s why the house traps her

She used to come out and they played on the swing
She sure could go pretty high on that thing
But lately that girl has to stay inside
A machine is her lungs and without it she’ll die

Ya she used to come out and she played in her pool.
She sat there all day and that girl would look cool
Calm and relaxed and having so much fun
And no joke she was tanner than anyone

But now she’s inside and still has no smile
But inside she’s smiling right through it all
She wishes for more and is grateful regardless
This girl has so much love that I’m feeling heartless

Compared to her there is no one as tough
She’s beautiful and strong and so easy to love
Her life has been heard and she has had it rough
But she keeps on going and rises above

She is always smiling even though you can’t see it
She’s laughing inside listen closely you’ll hear it
She’s happy with what she’s been given today
I’m thankful for her in so many ways

Tim Smith
Author: Tim Smith

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