RIDGELAND, Miss.—The Independence, a 69,000 cubic foot competition balloon sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center, will participate in the Canton Balloon Festival over the weekend and in the 13th annual Celebrate America Balloon Glow balloon glow on July 4 at 6 p.m. at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Enjoying the summer with family and friends should be fun and relaxing, but a Methodist Rehabilitation Center physician urges travelers to be safe, especially during the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Dr. Rahul Vohra, Methodist Rehab’s medical director, encourages families traveling this summer to use appropriate car seats and seat belts for children and to always buckle up.


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JACKSON, Miss.—In response to record blood shortages and a statewide appeal from the governor, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is holding a blood drive Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jackson hospital’s second floor conference center.

Methodist Rehab and University of Mississippi Medical Center employees are encouraged to participate in the drive which is also open to the public. All types of blood are currently in demand, say Mississippi Blood Services officials.


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JACKSON, Miss.—When Dan and Sheila Fulton arrived at Methodist Rehabilitation Center to be with their 17 year-old son, they never wanted to leave his room.

In March, while competing in a rodeo in Louisville, Bradley Fulton was kicked in the head by a horse and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since then he has been a patient in the brain injury program at the Jackson hospital.

But during the long days and nights at Methodist Rehab, the Fultons have been able to find the comforts of home without having to make the 90-mile trip back to their home in Louisville.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Celebrating the fourth of July should be fun and exciting, but Methodist Rehabilitation Center urges people to remember that incorrect use of fireworks can turn a joyful birthday celebration into a dangerous event.

Dr. David Collipp, medical director of the rehab surgery program at Methodist Rehab, encourages children and adults to use extreme caution when handling fireworks and says children are most likely to be involved in fireworks-related injuries.


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JACKSON, Miss.—After visiting 60 Mississippi schools and appearing before more than 16,000 students, Think First, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s statewide safety and injury prevention program is focusing on summer safety and setting its sights on day camps throughout the state.

The Jackson hospital kicked off its summer campaign at the Reservoir YMCA in Brandon. But along with teaching day campers about bicycle, swimming, diving and other summer safety topics, they also honored a valued member of the Think First team.


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HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Jackson’s own quad rugby team is on the move around Mississippi showcasing the exciting sport and recruiting new athletes. Players recently held a practice session at the Hattiesburg Recreation Center.

The Jackson Jags, consisting of athletes from all over Mississippi and Louisiana, are sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

Besides recruiting new players, the Jags also hope to show the public that people with disabilities can lead active, healthy lifestyles and play in a variety of sports—including a high-impact sport like rugby.


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SARDIS, Miss.—For the sixth year, physically challenged athletes will represent Methodist Rehabilitation Center in a relay team at the Dragonfly Triathlon.

Following up a successful showing at the Heatwave Triathlon last weekend in Ridgeland, the duo of Randy Lavender and Josh Sharpe will be racing back-to-back weekends.

Lavender, of Tupelo, who injured his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident 17 years ago, will face a daunting task when he leaves Cypress Point beach and begins the opening segment half mile swim with only his arms to pull him through.


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HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Due to the success of Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s safety tag campaign last Christmas, the Jackson hospital has begun offering the tags to bike shops and other retailers is south Mississippi year-round.

The tags encourage parents to remember to buy safety helmets and knee and elbow pads when they purchase bicycles, scooters, roller blades and skateboards for their children.


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RIDGELAND, Miss.—For the second year in a row, disabled athletes represented Methodist Rehabilitation Center in the Heatwave Triathlon.

Josh Sharpe, of Jackson, and Randy Lavender, of Tupelo, both competed today at the Ross Barnet Reservoir in Ridgeland.

Sharpe, a paraplegic who lost the use of his legs in a car accident, covered the 24.5-mile bike course on a hand cycle. Sharpe said he fell in love with hand cycling after reading a magazine article about the sport.


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