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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When Shannon Aiken was first introduced to the world of orthotics and prosthetics, he knew he had found his calling. 

After graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in exercise and sports science, Aiken was working his first job as a physical therapy technician at the University of North Carolina hospital in Chapel Hill, not far from his hometown of Raleigh.


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Most people may have never heard of polymyositis, a rare inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness throughout the body. 

Shonda Brown certainly hadn’t when she was diagnosed with it at the age of 14.

“It just came out of the blue,” she said. “I had never been sick—barely even had a cold. They think I got it from a viral infection, but no one knows for sure. 

“They said it was rare for someone like me to get it so young. I’ve never met anyone else with it. I’ve even gone online to see if I could find anyone else that has gone through it. It’s been hard.”  


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Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) has appointed Tish Hughes, Cy Rosenblatt and T. Calvin Wells to the Board of Governors of the center’s Wilson Research Foundation. As the fund-raising arm of MRC, the Wilson Foundation supports clinical research studies, advanced staff education and state-of-the-art technology.   


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A day after turning 40, Joey Brinson received the best belated birthday gift of his life.

On Aug. 23, he got word he’d be one of only two American wheelchair fencers to compete at the Sept. 7-18 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Once again, I get to represent my country at the highest level of sport,” he quickly posted on Facebook. “This is last minute news and I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not sleeping. But now it's time to snap into battle mode....USA!!”


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Robert Haseloff is a 69-year-old Brandon businessman with a bum left shoulder.

But lately he’s been rocking the look of an Olympic medalist.

Like volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings, he’s found muscle support and pain relief via the use of kinesio tape.

“I can’t believe how much it helps,” said Haseloff, the owner of a sporting goods store and a car lot. “I go all day every day and it works great.”

The strips of elasticized cotton first grabbed the spotlight on the backs, abs and joints of elite athletes like Jennings.


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Jasmine “Coco” Whiteside was not herself.

Usually reliable and upbeat, the University of Southern Mississippi senior had begun ditching plans with friends and texting photos of herself crying.

Her mother, Angela Whiteside, was baffled. She knew her daughter as intelligent and independent, the kind of kid who takes care of business.

“Whatever you wanted or needed, Coco was there for you,” Whiteside said.  “Ain’t nobody perfect, but she was perfect.”

And now she was a perfect mess.


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Charles and Anne Hooker of Jackson have enjoyed plenty of meals together during their 48 years of marriage.

But this was a first—sitting side by side in wheelchairs while dining at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

“We hadn’t anticipated this,” Charles said.

Ordinarily, it’s Anne who needs medical care. She has multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and severe scoliosis.

But when Charles had a stroke just before Anne underwent shoulder surgery, the two 70-year-olds suddenly needed a setting where both could recoup. And Anne knew just the place.


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As a graphic design instructor at Mississippi College, Karlos Taylor relies on his artist’s hand and his gift of gab to inspire students.

But after a stroke last year, he found himself stripped of those gifts and unsure if he would ever get them back.

Everything seemed normal the night of October 26. Taylor had been having some headaches, but attributed them to the stress of his job.

“But as I was going to bed, I felt very dizzy,” Taylor said.


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