When Ruthie Adams was named Methodist Rehab’s latest Clinical Services Employee of the Year, the award highlighted a profession that doesn’t always get its due.

“A lot of times, case managers don’t get recognized because we work behind the scenes,” explains Adams. “Even the patients might not realize all we do until they get home.”

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After more than 1,500 Mondays on the same job, Ann Hardy could be forgiven for an occasional day when she dreaded starting another work week.

So far, it hasn’t happened.

“She has the best attitude of any employee I’ve ever seen,” said Suzy Mayer, director of therapy services at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) in Jackson. “She truly loves what she does.”

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2009 was to be the year that Karen and Paul Hasley said good-bye to worried vigils in hospital waiting rooms.

Their son Shane had endured the last of 10 surgeries to correct his congenitally deformed feet, and life was looking up for the outgoing Ocean Springs High School senior.

Then came the Feb. 24 phone call that sent the couple rushing to Ocean Springs Hospital. The 18-year-old had flipped his truck and suffered a life-threatening brain injury.

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 A long day of holiday gift buying doesn’t just batter your budget.

Marathon sessions at the mall can take a physical toll, says physical therapist Joe Jacobson, director of outpatient services at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson and Flowood.

“This time of year we see people suffering what might be called ‘shopper’s shoulder’ or ‘browser’s back,’” Jacobson said. “They’ve hauled around too many bags or tried to wrestle something heavy into a car trunk and wound up straining muscles and joints.”

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Ceramic artist Bebe Wolfe is famous for her birds.

The fanciful creations draw flocks of collectors to her Jackson studio each year, and Wolfe stays busy meeting demand.

So when nagging neck pain threatened her productivity, Wolfe knew she needed help. “It really was interfering with my work and my pleasure in life,” she said. “It’s hard to be happy when you’ve got a big pain in the neck.”

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For their 20th wedding anniversary, Emily and David McDaniel of Indianola celebrated with a wonderful steak dinner. Never mind that the dinner was served on paper plates and on the fifth floor at Methodist Rehabilitation Center. It was the best anniversary celebration ever.

David describes Emily as an incredible wife and mother, a strong woman with a deep and abiding Christian faith; funny, outgoing, adventurous, a woman who knows who she is and knows what’s important. Emily loves cooking, gardening and the outdoors.

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At age 6, Brenda Thames saw firsthand the healing power of physical therapy.

Her disabled little brother learned to walk with the help of physical therapists, and Thames never forgot their kindness and concern.

“I think it’s why I do have compassion,” says Thames, a physical therapist for Methodist Specialty Care Center (MSCC) in Flowood. “I try to treat people like I would want my family treated.”

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Methodist Rehabilitation Center will offer a free introduction to handcycling from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at North Mississippi Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo.

One of several adaptive sports available at Methodist Rehab, handcycling is basically biking without the legwork, says Ginny Boydston, director of therapeutic recreation for the Jackson hospital.

“Riders sit in chair-style seats and pedal with their hands,” she explained. “It’s a great activity for wheelchair users who want to get some exercise and explore the outdoors.”

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When a spinal cord injury left Nicole Marquez of Madison with limited hand function, her mother Susan began helping the 26-year-old get dressed each day.

A year later, Nicole is more than ready to button, zip and primp all by her herself. “I love my mom, but we don’t have the same vision as far as make-up,” Nicole said. “I’m so stubborn I want to do things by myself.”

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Grandmothers are a special part of families. They often provide families with their values and traditions. They offer unique glimpses into family history as a living link between the past and present. Those who have or had the opportunity to spend time with their grandmothers can remember many life lessons that are only taught through a grandmother’s love.

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