At age 17, Stevelyn Robinson of Winona, Miss., was paralyzed from the neck down in a school bus crash.
And just like the late Chucky Mullins—who became a quadriplegic as an Ole Miss football player— Robinson’s motto is: Never quit!
He persevered through almost six years of therapy with Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s spinal cord injury team. And now he’s at Mullins’ alma mater... Read More
After a debilitating boating accident, Dan Smith of Madison County had to make quick work of his recovery.
His daughter, Sarah, was getting married in less than seven weeks. And he was determined to be by her side.
“Any father wants his daughter’s wedding day to be just like she wants it,” said the lawyer for the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. “And she was pretty intent... Read More
Happiness is a hefty stack of sprinkle-laden donuts.
Take it from Taylor Brown, who has known the sorrow of a severely limited diet since she was a baby.
After an infection damaged the bones and joints in her jaw, Taylor got meals through a feeding tube and learned to talk through clenched teeth.
A series of surgeries at the University of Mississippi Medical Center put her... Read More
At Jackson Preparatory School football games, Adam Malone has the best seat on the sidelines. It’s a hi-tech, sit-to-stand wheelchair that lets him rise to his role as a Broadcast Club videographer.
As soon as he heard about the club, “I went to see what it was all about,” said the teen with muscular dystrophy. “I learned that they were going to do video recordings and live streaming of... Read More
After having a stroke, Karlos Taylor wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to teach again.
He was having difficulty speaking, and his right hand was weak, both tools he needed as a graphic design instructor at Mississippi College.
Between inpatient and outpatient therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Taylor regained his gift of gab and his artistic touch.
“I feel like... Read More
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Sheri Carter wanted a means to maintain her active lifestyle. And the quest led her to LSVT Big & Loud Therapy at Methodist Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation in Flowood.
The innovative program uses speech and physical therapies to improve voice strength, walking speed, muscle tone, balance and trunk control. And the former Pearl... Read More
After suffering a stroke, Carol Gaddis of Jackson could only twitch an eyebrow and wiggle a couple of fingers on her paralyzed right side.
But thanks to the good Lord and the good care at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, she’s back doing all the activities she loves—hunting, fishing, sewing, crocheting and making and selling soap.
“They kept working with me, and now I can do... Read More
After her estranged husband shot her and killed himself, Jamecca Jones faced a daunting challenge.
The Jackson hairstylist needed to return to work to support her three kids. But she didn’t know how she’d manage the job as a paraplegic.
Then staff at Methodist Rehabilitation Center custom fit Jones with a standing wheelchair that lets her rise to her feet and reach her customers... Read More
After a paralyzing car wreck, Nikosha Anderson worked hard to get her life back on track. She juggled rehab, going back to college and caring for her son R.J.
And like many wheelchair users, she faced the daily challenge of finding transportation. So Nikosha enrolled in Methodist Rehab’s DriverRehabilitation Program to learn how to drive a vehicle modified with hand controls.
Her... Read More
Paralyzed by a postpartum stroke, Cheri Hicks was as helpless as her newborn when she arrived at Methodist Rehabilitation Center.
But with the support of some “amazing therapists,” the mother of two says she found the strength to attack therapy “like a job.”
Now, she’s back to enjoying the everyday adventures of family life and has renewed confidence in her capabilities.
“... Read More
A paralyzing car crash at the age of 17 may have ended Drew Thomas’ high school career, but he wasn’t about to let it put a stop to his education. The now 22 year old resides at Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s long-term care facility for the severely disabled.
MSCC is devoted to helping its residents achieve to the best of their abilities.... Read More
As a former boxer, bull rider and construction worker, tough guy Roy Eavenson was never the type to ask for help.
So imagine his frustration when he lost his left hand in an industrial accident. “I was real blue,” he said. “There were so many things I couldn’t do.”
But ever since Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics custom-fit Eavenson with a bionic hand, he’s found few... Read More
With seven children and 14 grandchildren, Dr. Ray and Judy Lyle hoped to spend a lot more time with family after retirement.
But struggles with pain threatened to make the Ridgeland couple’s retirement a sedentary one.
“We adore our grandchildren,” Judy said. “I couldn’t get on the floor to play with them. Pain from my back caused so many other pains, any time I tried to do... Read More
Growing up with cerebral palsy, DeJuan Surrell spent his youth on the sidelines of sporting events.
But thanks to Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s therapeutic recreation program, he can now compete in wheelchair softball, fencing, quad rugby, power soccer—and even join a dance troupe.
“Now I’m doing more sports than even my able-bodied friends,” said the 32-year-old Jackson... Read More
Think of Katie Breland as the paralyzed bride who refused a ride to the altar.
“I wanted my wedding to be how I always thought it would be and a wheelchair wasn’t part of the plan,” said the physical therapy assistant and personal trainer from Bogalusa, La. “I told everybody I wouldn’t get married until I could walk down the aisle. So I started working on it and practicing.”
The... Read More
Houston, Miss. native Shaquille Vance thought his days of excelling at sports might be over after a 2009 sports injury forced an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg.
His athletic career began anew when Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics custom built a hi-tech prosthetic running leg centered around a carbon-fiber blade known as a “cheetah”... Read More
When severe dizziness threatened her go-getter lifestyle, 83-year-old Odessa Whitehead of Ridgeland thought: “I can’t live the rest of my life like this.”
She had great-grandkids to babysit, a yard to keep and plenty of plans to “get out and do.”
So she’s grateful that her doctor recommended a balance disorder specialist at Methodist Outpatient Rehabilitation in Flowood.... Read More
The road to recovery took Audrae Barnes right where he wanted to be. But it was one bumpy ride for the Hattiesburg School District transportation director.
Complications after brain tumor surgery had left Barnes severely disabled. When he began therapy at Methodist Rehab Center, “he couldn’t do anything but breathe,” said his wife, Elaine.
Putting his trust in MRC’s seasoned... Read More
After falling six stories from the roof of her New York apartment building, Nicole Marquez woke up in the hospital on a ventilator with crushed vertebrae and other injuries. In her mind, she knew that she had worked hard for many years to reach the level of a dancer on Broadway.
“At that point, I knew what I had to do. I had to start all over again, and I was prepared to do just that,”... Read More
When she was asked to model her prosthesis for an Ossür ad, Ann Marie Rivera couldn’t say no to the Icelandic company that manufactured her left foot and ankle.
“Being a nurse, I always like to help people,” she says. “I was glad to show that people can do whatever they love to do without any limitations.”
After a sports injury forced the amputation of her lower left leg, Ann... Read More
A TV talk show host suffers a near-fatal stroke and is suddenly at a loss for words. Doctors diagnose aphasia, a disorder that can leave victims struggling to speak, read or write.
The scenario sounds like a scripted cliffhanger, but it was actually drama in real life for Raymond Wong, former co-host for WABG’s “Good Morning Mississippi.”
After working with the... Read More
Puma is a pooch named after a cat — and that’s hardly the only reason he’s special. As a trained and certified facility dog, the friendly Labrador helps Methodist Rehab patients achieve therapy goals.
“When we want patients to work on arm function, we might ask them to throw balls to Puma,” explained occupational therapist and trained dog handler Jenn Sivak. “Or we might ask questions... Read More
Hattiesburg pediatrician John Gaudet likes to get up close and personal with his young patients. So when muscular dystrophy began to hamper his hands-on style, he came to Methodist Rehab’s Assistive Technology Clinic for guidance.
Clinic staff looked at Dr. Gaudet’s health and lifestyle needs, and custom-fit the active physician with a standing power wheelchair. Now he can rise high to... Read More
Artist Bebe Wolfe is famous for her birds – ceramic creatures so enchanting they draw flocks of collectors to her Jackson studio each year.
So when neck pain threatened her career, Wolfe knew she needed help fast. Off she flew to Methodist Pain Management in Flowood, where a team approach delivered quick relief.
“It was really kind of magical,” she said. “None of it was... Read More
Gerry Cain sees her golden years as a time for grand adventures – like a starring role in “Hats, The Musical!”
So when a painful shoulder threatened her active lifestyle, the Ridgeland retiree turned to Methodist Outpatient Rehabilitation for help. Now she’s pain-free and ready for the show to go on.
“I focused on therapy, so I could focus on life – and fun!” she... Read More
Josie Azlin loves following Daddy everywhere he goes, and Matt Azlin is happy to oblige. The jaunts are a joyous reminder that life is back to normal at the Leland family farm. “Whatever Daddy is doing, Josie and her big brother, Hayes, love to be with him,” says their mom, Katherine.
Azlin faced an uncertain future after an accident forced the amputation of his lower right leg.... Read More
It was the scariest Halloween ever for registered nurse Hollie Harvey. While on a family hayride, Hollie fell under the wheels of a wagon and broke her back.
Surgeons predicted she would never walk again. But staff at Methodist Rehab said: “Let’s see what you can do.” And with their support and guidance, the Mendenhall mother of three gave it her all and got back on her feet.
“... Read More
As a quadriplegic, Tony Watts can’t use his hands to control a computer mouse. Yet the 26-year-old still spends plenty of time online with his Facebook and MySpace pals.
It’s a pastime made possible by the experts at Methodist Rehab’s Adaptive Computing Lab. After assessing Watts’ abilities, they recommended a system that lets him navigate the Internet by simply sipping and... Read More
After a football injury left him a quadriplegic at age 16, Robert Cassidy of Ruleville could have given up. But staff at Methodist Rehab showed him that his goals were still within reach. And therapy helped him gain the tools for a successful return to the classroom.
“They have a lot of positive people who motivate you to keep going regardless of the situation,” he says. “... Read More
Like a lot of wheelchair users, Jim Chaney of Vicksburg dreaded slippery slopes – until he learned how to zip down snowy peaks on a ski specially designed for quadriplegics.
Snow skiing is one of many activities made accessible by Methodist Rehab’s adaptive sports program. And Chaney says he’s grateful for the chance to take on new challenges.
“I’ve tried water skiing, quad rugby... Read More
Ruby Nunnery has spent 28 happy years as unit secretary for St. Dominic Behavioral Health in Jackson.
So when a stroke threatened her reign as everyone’s favorite Girl Friday, Nunnery was heartbroken – until Methodist Rehab’s Quest program came to the rescue.
At the outpatient program for brain injury survivors, Nunnery got the support she needed to return to the job she loves.... Read More
As deputy director for the Mississippi Arts Commission, Lee Powell has to be the Michelangelo of multitaskers.
So when a head injury left her feeling tired and confused, Powell sought help from Methodist Rehab’s outpatient Quest program. There she learned strategies to once again master the details and deadlines of her demanding job.
“It was an answered prayer for me and my needs... Read More
“If I could walk, I would be flat out the door.”
When Chris Gill wrote the lyrics for “Hospital Blues,” he feared his music career might be over. An 18-wheeler had crashed into his SUV, leaving Chris with a severe brain injury and broken bones from head to toe.
But therapy at Methodist Rehab Center helped Chris get back to playing his signature “island blues.” And now he sings... Read More
Sam Lane Jr. of Jackson was nearly killed when a drunk driver rammed into his bicycle. And there has been nothing easy about his efforts to overcome a severe brain injury.
But the college student finds some comfort in knowing his struggles may contribute to a greater good. He’s participating in Methodist Rehab research that may lead to better therapies for traumatic brain injury... Read More
After his lower left leg was amputated, Kenny Buford of Crystal Springs expected a life full of limitations.
Then the Navy veteran met Brad Kennedy, a Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics staffer who once bicycled across Europe to showcase the capabilities of his high-tech artificial leg.
“He’s an above-the-knee amputee, and he really inspired me,” says Kenny. “He made me... Read More
After Methodist Rehab helped Karen Skeen recover from a paralyzing fall, the registered nurse wanted a way to give back. "I told Methodist Rehab CEO Mark Adams: I'm coming to work here, you know."
Now the Madison mother of four assists the hospital's spinal cord injury researchers. And as she interviews newly injured patients, Karen does more than collect data. She also makes a... Read More
Delivering medicine to Methodist Rehab’s stroke unit used to be mere routine for pharmacy technician Linda Adcock of Ridgeland.
Now the journey feels akin to a victory lap. After a 2003 stroke, Linda worried she might never work again. “I was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t even touch my index finger to my thumb,” she says.
Fortunately, Linda’s family knew her workplace was home... Read More
As a plant and soil scientist, David Lang often jokes that is he is "out standing in his field." So when the witty Mississippi State professor suffered a severe brain injury, co-workers wanted to know: Does he still have his sense of humor?
"Yes," said his wife, Maureen. And she's happy to report his considerable intellect is intact, too. "They initially told me it would be at least a... Read More
Beverly Coleman of Brandon awoke to a strange new reality in June 2008.
After a collision with a dump truck bruised her brain and battered her body, the nurse at Hospice Ministries Inc. was the one needing constant care. "That was the hardest challenge," she said. "I don't like being a patient. I like helping people."
It's a calling shared by the staff at Methodist Rehab's... Read More
As doctors worked to save Will Graves' life after a paralyzing car crash, they cut off his clothes and necklace -- but never touched the Fully Rely on God (FROG) bracelet on the 16-year-old's left arm.
So when the talented athlete for West Jones High School learned he was a quadriplegic, he took the FROG message to heart. He began handing out bracelets and sharing his story, touching... Read More
Indianola native Dean Whitehead, a bilateral amputee, had been using a standard wheelchair since the 1970s. But the nature of his injuries caused him to lean to the left, resulting in many postural problems that affected his functional use of a such a chair.
When he came to Methodist Rehab’s Seating and Wheeled Mobility Clinic for an evaluation, physical therapist Allison Fracchia knew... Read More
When Michael Shelby suffered a spinal cord injury, trauma surgeons gave the athletic teen dire news.
“I was told I would never walk again—I would never move again, probably,” he said.
But it was a different story at Methodist Rehab, where an experienced medical team worked with the hospital’s in-house researchers to expertly evaluate Michael’s potential. Their... Read More
It’s no surprise that Bill Meador of Hickory suffered a stroke while in a shooting house. Hunting and fishing are his favorite activities, so his therapy at Methodist Rehab focused on getting him back outdoors.
After staff taught him how to compensate for his paralyzed left side, the retired engineer devised ingenious ways to make his 120-acre farm more accessible. Now, he encourages... Read More
When he talks about the power of persevering, Pisgah High School teacher Jay Levy speaks from a seat of authority—his wheelchair.
Paralyzed by a car accident during his sophomore year of college, Levy first worried he wouldn’t finish his education degree. “But Methodist Rehab helped me realize life goes on after a spinal cord injury,” he said. “You just have to find new ways to do... Read More
Lawerance Williams of Jackson knows the challenges of adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury. While a senior at Murrah High School, he damaged his spinal cord during football practice. While a patient at Methodist Rehab, Lawerance learned how to live a full and active life as a wheelchair user.
Today, Lawerance provides peer support at Methodist Rehab as part of his... Read More
After Kala Harvey of Sledge was hit by a car and fell into a coma, doctors said the brain-injured 18-year-old belonged in a nursing home.
But Alma Harvey wouldn’t give up on her daughter. She put her faith in God and her trust in the nationally recognized brain injury program at Methodist Rehab Center.
“I wanted to see Kala be able to take care of herself, and a lot of people... Read More
“My work is my life,” says psychologist Dr. Gladys Dinkins Johnson, who heads Jackson’s Wellington Institute. Adults and children in crisis turn to her for help with issues like grief, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder.
After suffering a stroke that impaired her ability to walk, talk and write, Dr. Johnson found her own life and career in crisis. So... Read More
As she worked to overcome paralysis caused by a stroke, Mary Ann Gallé of Brandon thought her art career was over.
Then a Methodist Rehab therapist put a paint brush in Gallé’s hand and showed the creative spirit she could still express herself. “And I felt like I had become alive again,” she says.
Grateful to be back at her easel, Gallé donated 17 of her paintings to help raise... Read More
Brain tumor surgery left Dr. Ricky Gray with speech and memory problems, and the Flowood Baptist Church pastor feared he might never preach again.
But after extensive therapy at Methodist Rehab, Gray returned to the pulpit just two months later. Now, he’s on a mission to give others hope for a full recovery.
“An old saying goes, ‘There’s always hope for help so long as there is... Read More
Crystal Walley has always loved puttering in the garden, playing with her pets and spending time with family.
But the activities have new meaning in the wake of a West Nile virus (WNV) infection that paralyzed and nearly killed the Wayne County mother of two. “You don’t appreciate all the little things until they are taken away,” she says.
Now back on her feet,... Read More
After a car accident put her in a wheelchair, Sonia Fogal thought her athletic days were over. Then came an invitation to try the wheelchair fencing program at Methodist Rehab.
“I immediately liked it because of the close contact and the speed of it,” Fogal said. “I’m an adrenaline junkie!”
Now a frequent gold medal winner in national competition, Fogal has her sights set on the... Read More
Before he moved to Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood, quadriplegic Rickey Starks had to rely on others to answer the phone, turn on the TV or play a DVD.
Now he can do all three – hands-free. By sipping and puffing on a special straw, the 26-year-old is able to operate an environmental control unit that is mounted on his power wheelchair. It’s one of many adaptive... Read More
Will Lamkin played both football and baseball in college before a 2008 auto accident left him a quadriplegic.
At the time, he had no idea his injury would lead him to a sport that would rival his collegiate pastimes as his favorite.
“When I started quad rugby, I didn’t even know it existed,” Lamkin said.
Lamkin now fuels his competitive spirit as a member of Methodist... Read More
“Still Standing” seems an odd title for a book about a guy in a wheelchair. But it makes perfect sense once you meet author Dwight Owens.
After being paralyzed in a wreck caused by a drunk driver, the Hot Coffee native turned his personal tragedy into a platform to empower others. Today, the former teacher is a motivational speaker who mentors the newly disabled, counsels youth... Read More