I am sorry for your issue.
There is a way to update the firmware of the Intel® SSD by creating a bootable USB drive, assuming your Apple* system has the option to boot from it.
We have instructions for Windows* systems in the Intel® SSD Firmware Update Tool User Guide (page 8).
There are instructions for Apple* systems here: http://evan.borgstrom.ca/post/1314205955/osx-bootable-usb-from-iso
Thanks for the reply.
I know I can definitely boot from USB, as that's what I did to clean install OS X.
However, the USB drive, which I followed the instructions link you provided to make it bootable, isn't recognized by my Mac. Any ideas why?
I am no expert with OS X but there are some other tutorial pages available:
Apple* Support Communities may also be of help.