Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s spinal cord injury support group plans to hold a future meeting at Playtime, a restaurant/arcade that opened last April in Clinton.

But it’s not just for the fun, food and games. The group also wants to show support for one of its most dedicated members.

Playtime owner Sancho Johnson, 44, is a spinal cord injury survivor who joined the support group after he was injured in 2009.


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Most people do it all day without thinking.

They open their mouths to talk, to eat, to yawn, to laugh, to sneeze and more. It’s all made possible by a pair of ball and socket joints that move the mouth open and shut on demand.

But what if those essential joints eroded, locking the mouth shut?

It’s the scenario Taylor Brown of Brandon has lived with for most of her seven years.


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Only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts make it to Eagle, the highest rank. It’s an honor even more significant for four young black men from Jackson. Only 1 percent of black Scouts reach Eagle.

“It’s been like reaching the end of the road on a long journey,” said Brent Price.

Price, Deshuntez Williams, Marcello Williams and Jerion Keyes are all scouts from Troop 401, sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center, a Jackson inpatient rehabilitation hospital. The four were presented their Eagle at a Court of Honor held at the hospital on Dec. 17.


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Jacob Long of Clinton, a physical therapist at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, recently received his Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

The ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers’ needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices.


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Al and Margaret Barrett Simon begin every day with the same ritual.

Al delivers Margaret a cup of coffee while she’s reading the newspaper in bed.

But on Aug. 12, the routine went awry for Al, a Jackson State University professor, and Margaret, vice president of the Jackson City Council and an eight-term representative for Ward 7.

“I went back to the kitchen and everything went whirling around a mile a minute,” Al said. “I said: ‘Help me, help me’ and Margaret came running into the kitchen. She said: ‘What’s the matter?’ And I said: ‘I don’t know.’”


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Two years ago, Carol Ann Gaddis was blowing through life like an overachiever in overdrive.

When she wasn’t selling houses, the Jackson real estate agent liked to hunt, fish, sew, crochet, arrange flowers, make and sell soap and co-host a cooking show with her husband, Larry.

“She had more hobbies than I thought was humanly possible,” marveled Sydney Sisson.

And Sisson should know. As an occupational therapist at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, she helped Gaddis get back to her busy life following a paralyzing stroke.


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During his first tour of Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Keith Tansey remembers being taken aback by the hospital’s research capabilities.

“I visited in 2011 because I knew Dr. Dobrivoje Stokic (MRC’s administrative director of research), and I was curious what he was up to,” said Dr. Tansey, then a spinal cord injury researcher at Emory University, the Shepherd Center and Veterans Affairs Hospital in Atlanta.


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Charlie Lott appears every Monday morning at Methodist Rehabilitation Center with a smile, ready to transport patients to therapy, distribute mail and sing.

 He’s known for his cheerful disposition, caring attitude and kindness, all of which have won him a spot in the hearts of patients, families and staff.

For his dedication to MRC, as well as his devotion to several ministries of his church, Lott was honored as an outstanding volunteer by Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services during its 2016 Volunteer Salute Dinner.


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Since her spinal cord injury over 20 years ago, Sandra Austin has never stopped believing she could get better. Initially, her doctors didn’t give her much hope of walking again. 

“I did not want to accept that,” she said. “I understand that sometimes there are limits, but I felt like if I really applied myself there was a chance.”


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With a flick of his wrist, Adam Malone rises from sitting to standing. Smiling, he demonstrates how he’s able to greet someone eye-to-eye instead of looking up at them from his power wheelchair.

It’s a welcome change for the 15-year-old, and he has physical therapist Heather Maloney to thank for the new perspective. 

As a certified assistive technology professional at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, Maloney custom-fits wheelchairs to suit the health and lifestyle needs of her clients.


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