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Alone, paralyzed and unable to utter a word.

Dezron Wesley of Brookhaven awoke to that reality after a third stroke sent him to a Jackson hospital on April 8.

Because of COVID-19, his wife, LaTonya Wesley, couldn’t be by his side during the hospitalization.

And the 48-year-old said it was frightening to be isolated and incommunicado. “I was at someone’s mercy,” he said.

“He told me how scary it was to wake up and not be able to talk or say what he needed,” said Taylor Miller, his speech therapist while at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

It’s not how Gray Spencer expected to spend his 22nd birthday—heading home to New Albany after three weeks at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

But on April 22, he was just happy to have overcome a traumatic brain injury in the middle of a pandemic.

“I’m just really thankful,” Spencer said. “I’m blessed to have had good therapists. Without them, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Right now, he’s on a trajectory to return to college and his job as manager for the Ole Miss basketball team.

Most days, the staff at Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics in Flowood focuses on building prosthetic limbs and orthopedic braces.

Now, they’re also creating personal protective gear for workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.

It all started when Mark Adams, the CEO of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, saw a YouTube video about a New York City hospital using 3-D printing to fashion desperately needed face shields.

Matt Dubuisson thought he was going to die.

The Pass Christian 60-year-old had fallen some 25 feet from a tree stand. And when he hit the ground, he “felt and heard” bones breaking.

“I knew it was bad when I reached and felt my legs and couldn’t feel anything,” he said.

The impact fractured 12 ribs, his sternum and broke his back in three places. One vertebra shattered “like a brick that had been thrown against concrete.”

“After my CAT scan, they said my chance of walking again was not good,” he said.

While studying to be a physical therapist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Health-Related Professions, Annie Campbell heard nothing but good things about Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s student program.

“I heard over and over again that it was such a great clinical experience,” Campbell said.

 So she says she jumped at the chance to enroll. And now, after 12 weeks working with and learning from the staff of MRC’s spinal cord injury program, she says it’s more than lived up to the hype.

Trey Carroll didn’t expect “recover from a stroke” to be on his to-do list before turning 30.

“I worked out all the time, I ate really clean and I don’t think I was that stressed out,” the Madison resident said. “I thought of myself as a healthy person, with a strong heart and low blood pressure.”

His baseball was made of rubber rather than leather.

And his every throw and catch was being monitored by therapists at Methodist Rehabilitation Center.

Yet 16-year-old Jake Williams of Meridian was happily in his element as he tried out his fast ball, curve ball and slider in the Jackson hospital’s fifth floor therapy gym.

After he suffered a traumatic brain injury on Dec. 8, the Clarkdale High School standout feared he’d never return to the game he’d loved since he was a 4-year-old T-baller.

Hailly Bernard’s story could be headlined: Mother Nature vs. Mother-To-Be.

In the wee hours of Jan. 11, the eight-months-pregnant 18-year-old was sent flying by the force of an EF-3 tornado in Drew.

The experience earned her the nickname Dorothy from her physician at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and a ton of respect from her therapy team.

As a running back for the 1989 Ole Miss Rebels, Drew native Ed Thigpen amassed 327 yards rushing, scored five touchdowns and made the front page of USA Today.

Yet he says the best moment in his life happened in the therapy gym of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

“I stood up without needing anything for one minute,” he said.

That might seem a tiny victory for someone Ole Miss Coach Billy Brewer called “my kind of guy” for his hard-nosed playing style.

But Thigpen had been humbled by a health scare he never expected.

Michael Jordan of Greenwood was never supposed to make it home for the holidays.

Tethered to a ventilator and unable to walk, the 40-year-old seemed destined to live out his life at Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood.

The residential care facility is designed for the severely disabled, and Jordan knew he needed the center’s expertise. Still, he couldn’t imagine a future so far from family.

“I was depressed and I wanted to give up,” he said. “But the big man above wouldn’t let me give up.”

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