It’s mind over matter…if you don’t mind, it won’t matter!” These are the words of an Academy instructor that have guided the life and career of Jessica Jimenez, that have driven this Florida State trooper with 20 years in law enforcement to do good things in every walk of her life.
On the morning of April 7, 2005 Jessica’s mind was called into action, just like every day, but this time a high school senior just one month from graduation had overturned on the Florida Turnpike and was in the canal. Fire Rescue divers pulled up the lifeless body of Katherine González. Jessica carried the young woman out of the water and with other Rescue personnel placed her on a stretcher and tried unsuccessfully to revive her. At Kendall Regional Hospital, Jessica had to give the horrible accident news to the family. She remained with the mother to hear the doctor’s further heart wrenching evaluation that Katherine was in a coma and in a semi-vegetative state.
Jessica is dedicated to serving all people, but Katherine stuck in her mind, even two years following the accident. Perhaps because Jessica’s own son in high school was preparing for his driver’s license. Or maybe it was a passage that beamed at her in the confirmation class she was attending with him. As she describes it, “God chooses a person and gives the person a task. This was my task, even though I had a lack of courage at first to make the call to Katherine’s mother, Beatriz, to find out what happened to Katherine.”
With that passage and the words of her instructor in mind, she made that call. Jessica visited Beatriz, only to find out, sadly, that Katherine was still comatose, and the mother’s only hope was the Ocean Neurology Center, a hyperbaric oxygen facility. The neurologist there had determined Katherine could make a full recovery with their treatments; but, alas, these treatments are considered experimental, and not covered by medical insurance.
“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart” is Jessica’s motto and that is how she moved herself and the world to find a way to help. Jessica started Katherine’s Hope—a non-profit foundation to help Katherine, and others like her, to provide the means for them to truly take HOPE into their hearts and hands. (www.katherineshope.com)
The connections between Jessica and Katherine seemed almost miraculously intertwined. Jessica’s very first selected gift for Katherine was a purple Care Bear. Little did the trooper know that Katherine had collected the toys for years and the purple one was the only one missing from her collection. Friends, relatives, favorite pastimes, and hobbies long common to both families kept revealing themselves.
Muses Jessica, “I guess I developed the Mother Teresa Syndrome.” And, for sure, Jessica is totally involved in keeping the faith and minding what matters. To date, Katherine’s Hope has provided 38 treatments for Katherine that specialists have determined produced a significant response. And Katherine is just the beginning of Jessica’s huge heart and efforts to bring HOPE to help many other families who need it.
As a full-time mom, wife of a “wonderfully supportive husband”, trooper, student at FIU and advocate of Katherine’s Hope, Jessica says “I’m on top of the world, I look at clouds and I can jump from cloud to cloud. I feel so good about helping. I was meant to do it.” .-DUO