Jessy Lyon

The Following Information Was Written Just Prior To Pig Bowl 2010   

On July 1st of 2009 Jessy Lyon was on vacation with her family in Northern California. One morning Jessy woke up not knowing where she was or who her family was. Jessy was taken to the emergency room at the Paradise, CA hospital. Despite multiple medical tests and physician consultations, Jessy continued to deteriorate.  By July 4th, Jessy did not recognize anyone and she could not speak clearly. On July 5th, Jessy fell unconscious and her heart rate became erratic. Doctors there did a lumbar puncture and found her white count in her spinal fluid at 400 (normal is 1 to 5). This alerted the doctors to a bigger problem so they sent Jessy to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, CA. Jessy was at Sutter for 6 weeks until she was stable enough fly by helicopter to OHSU.    

Upon arrival in Portland, Jessy was in the intensive care unit for two weeks where she continued to fight for her life while her body struggled with thalamic storming, fever and seizures. Jessy’s heart continued to beat irregularly, from 10 beats per minute to 225 beats per minute. Because she could not breathe, she was on life support. Finally, at the end of August, Jessy was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. To date only about 50 young people have had this disorder so there isn’t a lot of information on how to treat it. Jessy was the first child in Oregon to be diagnosed with this form of Encephalitis.     

After diagnosis, Jessy received various treatments including plasma exchange, steroid treatments, and chemotherapy. At the end of August 2009, Jessy was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital. Two weeks before Christmas, Jessy’s family was told that Jessy would be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. A week later, Jessy tried to stand from her hospital bed and take a step. On March 1st of 2010 Jessy was released from Legacy and was stable enough to be transferred to a nursing facility. But her family wanted her home. Thankfully they were able to take Jessy home with the assistance of a registered nurse and 24 hour support.    

Since becoming ill, Jessy has been fed through a g-tube in her stomach. But every day, Jessy is eating more food by mouth and loves McDonalds’ cheeseburgers. This week marked the first time since July 2009 that Jessy actually made her calorie count from REAL FOOD! Jessy loves jammin’ out on rock-n-roll or top 40 and will dance like crazy when a good song comes on. While in the van one day, Ozzy started singing ‘Crazy Train’ and Jessy was boppin’ her head. Dan asked, “Jessy, who sings this song?” Jessy quickly answered “Ozzy Osbourne.” That was so neat to hear Jessy answer that question, her memories surprise us all the time. 

Everyday is just amazing, and everyday we are so thankful to God for the progress that Jessy is making. Two weeks ago Friday while entering the high school, Jessy looked around and said to her mom “I’ve been here before, I remember this, I WENT TO SCHOOL HERE”. Cindy asked her if she meant this last week and Jessy said “no, a couple of years ago”. Which is true, she attended there 9th grade. That just blows us away when she comes through with memories like that. Jessy has brief moments of being ‘here’ mentally with us and those are happening more and more. We just want to wrap our arms around her when she is like that and hold on so tight to keep her here with us permanently. Jessy still thinks that she is 17… so… ok… we’ll work on that later. Jessy’s 19th birthday was last Monday. 

At school this week Jessy went into the music room and told us that she used to play trumpet (that was so awesome). So Mr. Hodges, the music teacher, grabbed a trumpet and had Jessy give it a shot. She did great, strong note and it was beautiful to hear. Jessy was very happy with her self and was smiling from ear to ear. 

It has been a lot of fun when we are in town and Jessy notices a ‘Pig Bowl’ poster with her picture on it. Jessy points at her picture, giggles and says “That’s me! That’s me!” It is too cute and never gets old. We have been looking forward to this event and Jessy will love all the excitement. Jessy has been continuously getting better at walking, communicating, and recovering memories. Jessy is an inspiration to everyone and is living proof that miracles do come true. Thank you for all of your prayers, support, and well wishes. 

Stubing Family – Dan, Cindy, Ritchie & Jessy

Please Click HERE To Read Updates on Jessy from her Parents Blog

Or to see the miracle of how she is doing as of September 2023 click HERE