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MRC News

By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service

The first time Adam Booker went to college, he mostly majored in having fun.

“I thought I was doing good by just getting up and going to class,” he said. “I’d roll out of bed, put on sweatpants, brush my teeth and just make it out the door. It was easy.”

Now, it takes 30 minutes and the help of a certified nurse’s aide to ready Booker for classes at Hinds Community College in Pearl. Yet the 25-year-old quadriplegic is a better student than he ever was as an able-bodied 18-year-old.

The medical device used to help 57-year-old Annie Johnson recover from a debilitating stroke blurs the lines between science and science fiction.

“When they were telling me about the Bioness, I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to be bionic,’” she said. “I thought it was space-age stuff.”

That’s the Bioness H200 Hand Rehabilitation System—a breakthrough medical device that has helped many patients just like her regain their independence.

At 10 a.m. on March 31, the Wilson Research Foundation at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) will host its third annual Walk & Roll for Research. The event will be held on the grounds of Methodist Specialty Care Center, One Layfair Drive in Flowood, and the Mirror Lake Plaza walking trail nearby. 

“The response to the Walk & Roll has been phenomenal,” said Chris Blount, Wilson Foundation director.  The event celebrates the abilities recovered over the years by patients of Methodist Rehab Center’s main hospital, as well as the residents of the Specialty Care Center. 

STARKVILLE – When David Lang decided to patch his roof during halftime of the 2011 Gator Bowl, Mississippi State was well on its way to trouncing the University of Michigan 52 to 14.

It was an unforgettable game, alright, but the MSU scientist can’t remember a single play. Memories of that New Year’s Day – and the 10 days after – were wiped away by a brain-rattling fall that he also can’t recall.

As he left Methodist Rehabilitation Center on Jan. 11, Stevelyn Robinson of Winona had one plan in his playbook – to catch up with his friends at Montgomery High School’s next basketball game.

It would be different, of course, sitting courtside in a wheelchair rather than playing point guard for the Hornets. But “Pooda,” as his friends and family call him, isn’t one to dwell on life’s disappointments.

At age 91, Elizabeth McIlwain of Jackson has a simple plan for staying young.

“Live today like you did yesterday and live tomorrow like you did today,” she said. “And if something happens to your health, go take care of it.”

McIlwain practices what she preaches, which is why she recenty spent time working out on the exercise equipment at Methodist Rehab’s east campus in Flowood.

She is determined to overcome debilitating back pain that threatened her active lifestyle and put her at risk for life-threatening falls.

Louise Hayes had a trailer full of assistants to help her dress as she transformed into a 1960s-era maid for her brief role in the new movie “The Help.”

All the attention was nice, but not necessary.

“I had to let them know I can do some things myself,” said Hayes, 72, who lost her right arm in a car accident four years ago and has since adapted well to the use of a prosthetic limb.

“I needed help with some of the buttons, but other than that, I could put everything on myself,” she said. “Still, it was really nice to have people there to cater to me.”

To watch a video of this therapy, go to the MethodistRehabMS YouTube channel.

JACKSON—Fannie Nelson of Jackson slips her left arm into a robotic exoskeleton, wraps her fingers around a handgrip and begins firing at a flock of chickens flying across a computer screen.

It looks like a scene from a futuristic video arcade, but at play here is the hard work of rehab. Armeo®Spring therapy is helping the 50-year-old regain function in her once paralyzed left arm.