Ettalynn Tracy of Brandon never wanted to spend nine days in stroke rehab.

But she's happy, at least, that her need for therapy coincided with the Feb. 24 re-opening of Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s remodeled stroke floor.

“Compared to other places, it’s like the Hilton,” she said. “I like everything about it. It’s so nice, so roomy and so clean.”

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The Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County (JARC) will honor Robby Scucchi as its Community Volunteer of the Year on March 26.

In a sense, the award will pay tribute to two people. Scucchi says it was his late mother, Brenda Scucchi, who taught him that “time and compassion are meant to be given away.” Even when she was sick with cancer, she never stopped thinking of others.

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BankPlus has announced a five-year, $500,000 pledge to the Wilson Research Foundation at Methodist Rehabilitation Center for neuroscience research and technology.

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Editor's note: Allison Fracchia, a physical therapist and coordinator for Methodist Rehab's Assistive Technology Clinic, penned the following letter to urge members of congress to support a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology. 

Dear Member of Congress,

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The steady beat of a metronome typically calls to mind memories of piano lessons.

But when Elnora Coates of Jackson hears the tireless tempo, she thinks of how far she has come since a 2009 stroke paralyzed her right side. Thanks in part to Interactive Metronome (IM) training, the 62-year-old is almost back to being the woman who “never sat still.”

“At first, I couldn’t do anything for myself,” said the former teacher’s assistant for the Vicksburg-Warren County schools. “But I would say I’m 95 percent recovered right now.”

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At 10 a.m. on April 2, the Wilson Research Foundation at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) will host its second annual Walk & Roll for Research. The event will be held at Methodist Specialty Care Center, One Layfair Drive in Flowood (located between Mirror Lake Plaza and River Oaks Hospital.)

“Last year’s inaugural Walk & Roll brought 400 people to celebrate the abilities recovered over the years by patients of Methodist Rehab Center,” said Chris Blount, Wilson Foundation director. Walkers and rollers (those in wheelchairs) of all ages are welcome.

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To most people, there is little beauty to be found in multiple sclerosis (MS).

The chronic, often debilitating disease brings on a slow decline of the central nervous system, eventually resulting in symptoms such as extreme fatigue and reduced motor and muscle function.

MS took away Stephen Brown’s ability to draw and play the guitar, but it also provided him with the perspective to try another form of creative expression.

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It’s a familiar scenario: After stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving and then indulging in Christmas gluttony, you promise you’ll hit the gym in January. Hard.

But be forewarned: Being overzealous invites overuse injuries, says staff at Methodist Rehabilitation Center.

“Some of the most common injuries I see this time of year are strain injuries from over-exercising and improper form,” says Jodie Joyner, a physical therapist for Methodist Rehab’s Fitness Lady clinic in Ridgeland.

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Jerry Vardaman of Brandon can’t stand to be idle.

So the stroke patient knew he was in the right place when he rolled into Methodist Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation in Flowood.

“The first thing physical therapist Karen Klein said to me was: Put your wheelchair in a closet and be prepared to work hard,” remembers Vardaman.

“And he worked so hard, he wore the rubber bottoms off a brand new pair of shoes,” Klein said.

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When Jay Levy tells high school students to slow down, buckle up and take care on the road, he’s speaking from a seat of authority — his wheelchair.

The 21-year-old senior at the University of Mississippi sustained a spinal cord injury in a February 2009 car accident while speeding back to school from his hometown of Madison.

Now, as a secondary education major and a student teacher at Lafayette High School in Oxford, he’s a living testament to the message he hopes to convey.

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