Jessie suffered a serious car accident on June 29. She needs help with medical expenses, ambulance bill, healing therapies, and for a replacement car. Please help this amazing young woman recover. Her commitment to helping others has made her dear to all our hearts. Now let's give back from our hearts!
Those who know Jessie know she is a tender-hearted soul who dedicates so much of herself to helping people - and yes, animals - in need. Now she has some needs and we want to give back to her some of what she has always offered.
Jessie and Ezra returned from Italy where they were able to visit Jessie's family and friends. The trip was difficult in many ways. Air travel is very hard on one's health and it was particularly hard on Jessie. But, as we all know, you can't keep her from doing what she sets her mind to, so she went and she survived.
She and Ezra were able to have a very meaningful ceremony for their wedding in the Michael House at Eureka Farm where Enzo Nastati is the head researcher. Enzo is our main teacher for Viva la Vida Foundation, and a mentor of sorts for Jessie. So it was a wonderful experience and the main focus of the trip really.
Jessie is now back in therapy and continuing to try to work as she is able.
Again, we want to thank you all for your support and generosity. This campaign has only 13 more days before it will close. You still have time to donate is you feel motivated and are able. The donations thus far have helped so much in providing the therapies that Jessie continues to need.
What remarkable progress! When Jessie first began therapy, both her occupational and physical therapists told her it would likely be two years before she was able to walk. Jessie quite rightly ignored those predictions, and within two months she was up on a walker moving about the house. A few weeks after that, she had transitioned to crutches. Though she still uses crutches to walk, she can manage to move about the kitchen by holding onto the counters and chairs, and as with all she does, she manages quicker than most.
Her dream and intent for this year was to go to Italy this month, to visit her grandma, and to be married in Michael House at the Eureka Center by her teacher and friend, Enzo Nastati and to have a holiday of sorts. Despite the difficulties a journey like this presents, she is determined and leaves September 26. Ezra will be with her, of course. And we have no doubt she will be radiant in her white wedding dress, will thoroughly devote herself to her grandma, and sanctify her commitment and marriage to Ezra, and he to her, with grace and devotion.
Jessie continues to work on her recovery both physically and emotionally. It's a lot of hard work and requires thought to do every task in the day, rather than simply operating out of habit. But over the past few weeks Jessie has gone from walking with a walker, to using crutches part of the time. She is even able to move around the kitchen by holding on to the counters and chairs to get herself a glass of water or something from the fridge. This is great progress as it gives her more independence and it means Michelle is able to go to work for parts of the day.
Jessie enrolled in school again. She is committed to finishing her education and, though it is an additional strain on her thinking and her brain, she is doing well. Her ability to work is limited to shorter time slots than she is used to, but in the overall picture of Jessie's nature, this might not be a bad thing. She has always been so driven and now it's time for her to learn to take more breaks and go a bit slower.
Unfortunately, Medicaid insurance has denied Jessie and therefore this fundraising campaign is more important than ever. She is still in need of therapy appointments and is not yet able to work and earn. If you haven't donated yet, now is a very good time. Or if you know someone who might like to help, please let them know.
For the past two weeks, Jessie, Michelle and Ezra were able to help friends by watching their house and taking care of their dogs while they were out of town. Jessie's grandparents were also able to come up from Arizona and stay with them for this time making it a bit of a family vacation.
This short retreat offered a larger space where Jessie was able to learn to walk using a walker which has given her new independence and much great mobility. Jessie continues with her Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy appointments every week and is quite diligent about her exercises. The progress she has made is wonderful considering it is has only been two months since her accident.
Her appointment with the neurologist and her last MRI scan results were also encouraging as there was nothing new revealed. Head trauma is a thoroughly individual event and no two people experience it quite the same way. Recovery is also individual and happens at a different pace for every person. No doubt Jessie's determination and diligence in her own recovery are making progress possible and relatively fast.
This fundraising campaign still has 60 days to go to raise the last of the funds we hope for. Please pass it along to anyone who might be interested and continue to check here for future updates. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
I truly am speechless. Many different emotions take over me and at the moment it is hard to express myself as well as I would like. Thank you ALL, so so so so much! My heart is filled with love, joy, support, but I cannot deny the fact that this is extremely hard for me to take in. The last thing I want to do is bother people or worry them. I've always had a hard time receiving and not because I think I can do it all on my own, but simply because I do not know how to ask, and maybe the most prominent thought is that I do not feel as if I deserve it. My initial reaction, of course, was that there are many people or animals who need help more than I do. Caren and my mom guided me through my emotions and I finally was able to calm down. Even though I did tell Caren I would quit working for her with Viva la Vida. =)
Ezra and my mom knew better than to get involved as they knew I would have this reaction, but it is also hard for both of them to accept help or receive help. We are all growing so much through this car accident. I cannot say that it has been an easy journey, but thankfully I forget everything so I am not fully aware of how hard it is. I have been processing a lot, learning a lot, growing a lot, laughing a lot and also crying. My mom and Ezra have been outstanding and I have no idea what I would do without them. I apologize I haven't been able to see people but my brain Injury is tricky and I still need to take things slow.
Caren, thank you for starting this and for not fearing my reaction. Thank you for helping me through it all.
From the bottom of my heart and soul, THANK YOU ALL. Words will never be good enough to describe my gratitude towards all of you. I wish I could bottle it all up and send each one of you a little bottle of love and gratitude to carry with you. But for now, all I have is my words. I am crying as I am writing this, and I have yet to see the website as I am pretty sure I will have another meltdown. I am waiting to look at it with Ezra, so that he and my mom can team up and calm me down once again.
Thank you all again. Truly. All your love and sweetness and support are truly appreciated, and trust me, I am forever grateful for each and every one of you. I hope one day I will be able to do for you this and more, and I promise you I will be paying it forward.
Yesterday, I finally told Jessie about the fundraising efforts we are all making to help pay for the medical expenses and loss of income she is facing. Her initial reaction was tearful dismay that people would bother and worry about her. Typical of her nature, she just said, "I'm fine. There are so many who need help more than me." But slowly she was able to understand that this small expression from all of us of our gratitude for her shining spirit and all the help she extends to others is a very real example of the community we strive to be. Whilst Jessie's work with Viva la Vida Foundation is centered on agricultural evolution, building community lies at the heart of all we do. Without community, our agricultural efforts are meaningless.
Jessie will soon be in touch to express her gratitude in her own words. For now, know that she continues her journey both outwardly and inwardly to find deep meaning in this experience - from the physical, mental and emotional challenges of being injured, to the spiritual questions of a destiny path, to the recognition through empathy of things that could come to her heart and soul in no other way. Her days are filled with therapy and the needed rest afterwards, communion heart-to-heart with her husband and her mom, joy and laughter at each new healing step, and infinite gratitude and acceptance of it all.
Jessie continues to work hard at her recovery. Having personal experience with severe injuries and head trauma, I can attest that recovery is very hard work. It requires hours and hours each and every day of effort - physically, emotionally, and mentally. Jessie is now seeing a physical therapist at least once each week and an occupational therapist twice a week. There are daily exercises, and simply doing normal tasks takes much longer than normal which means the days go by more quickly than ever expected. Then there is the exhaustion that comes as a result of the efforts made. A journey to the doctor or the ordeal of medical procedures and tests take a toll at a level that is unfathomable to anyone who has not experienced this kind of situation.
But, the good news is that Jessie is one of the most determined and resourceful people I have ever known. She meets each day with the faith that she will recover and move forward in her life with new purpose. Her deep connection to spirit and her courage to meet both herself and her life's challenges are inspirational.
Her mom, Michelle, and her husband, Ezra, continue to be her sole caregivers and support her with devoted love and strength. Jessie still needs time, quiet, and a peaceful routine. Too much stimulation by way of visitors and conversation can be tiring and difficult, so we ask that all those who know and love her continue to respect her wishes to offer her your thoughts, well wishes and prayers but refrain from going to the house unless Michelle asks you to come. Please also understand that emails, texts, even phone conversations are difficult and not necessarily the best support for her brain at this time.
Our fundraising efforts are on-going. Now that Jessie is well enough for additional therapies, the expenses will mount. We thank everyone who has already donated to the campaign and those who still will. Every bit helps at this time.
Jessie has recovered enough to begin therapy, for which we are very very grateful. She is still very sore from the blows her beautiful little body took in the car accident, and this makes moving difficult. But she is healing and her spirits are as funny and lively as ever.
She is now seeing an occupational therapist twice a week and other therapists as time and schedules allow. Since these therapies are not all covered by Medicaid we are eternally grateful for the donations you all are making to help with the expenses.
Because Jessie is the person she is, she is actually trying to do some work for Viva la Vida Foundation! We have told her to just rest and heal, but she wants so badly to help the foundation which she has such a strong commitment to. As anyone who knows Jessie understands, when she sets her mind to something she just gets it done; thus, we cannot stop her from her efforts to work. Head injuries often cause confusion, loss of memory, fuzzy vision, and headaches so her ability to concentrate on work is limited, but the main thing is her spirit is strong and she is trying!
Please continue to check in here for updates. We will post news often. And again, thank you for your support and your donations. They are an enormous help at this time and will most certainly be into the future.
Stay tuned for more video links as well as we are able to get things posted. Blessings to us all who have Jessie in our lives!
We all love Jessie so much. We have put together this video to help raise funds for her. Please, watch this video, share this page with your network, and give what you can. Many many thanks!
On Friday, Jessie had a therapy appointment with our wonderful Ortho-bionomist Melinda Doden. Melinda kindly donated the session to assess the structural misalignments resulting from Jessie's accident. More therapy sessions are being scheduled with Melinda and, in what we hope will be a very short time, more therapies will be added. Michelle and Jessie are carefully monitoring the effects of treatments and are fully aware of not piling on too much at once so the messages don't get confused and the ability to know what is helping becomes too difficult to understand.
On Saturday, Jessie was able to go home with Ezra for the day to visit her garden. A very good day indeed when the two of them could be together in their own home for a good part of the day.
A meal train is being set up to provide some sustenance for them each day moving forward. The bountiful food available now in our lovely valley will provide them, through loving hands, much appreciated nutrition for their bodies and their souls. We will post the link for the sign up sheet here soon.
Thank you to everyone checking in here for updates and all the powerful prayer and conscious support we know you are offering.
Donated of $15,000.00
$875.00 Raised offline
No more donations are being accepted at this time. Please contact the campaign owner if you would like to discuss further funding opportunities
Donate $75.00 Or More
Pack of Artist Writing Cards
Donate $100.00 Or More
Viva la Vida Organic Cotton Shopping Bag
Donate $125.00 Or More
1-year membership in Viva la Vida Foundation
Caren von Gontard Oct 17
Caren von Gontard Sep 23