For two long weeks, Carolyn Lee lost touch with reality.
Left confused by brain swelling caused by West Nile virus, the mother of three didn’t even recognize her daughters.
“My prognosis was not good,” said the 58-year-old Jackson nurse. “The doctors said I had stayed under a long time and would probably come out with brain damage and be paralyzed.”
“I didn’t know West Nile virus could keep you from walking”: Cleveland woman astonished by damage one tiny mosquito can do
For Pearl Thomas, it all started with an achy mosquito bite that left her itchy from her waist to her toes.
Next came cold symptoms, followed by fever, sweatiness and a searing pelvic pain that sent the Cleveland resident to the ER on Oct. 4.
When her legs gave way the next day and she fell flat on the floor, the 59-year-old thought it might be complications from a pain shot she’d received at the hospital.
On April 28, the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning approved a historic affiliation agreement between Methodist Rehabilitation Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
In the months since, attention has mainly centered on the short-term impact of the agreement—consolidation of inpatient rehabilitation services at MRC and the transfer of patients and staff by Nov. 1.
When he ran hurdles for Kilmichael’s Montgomery High School, Stevelyn Robinson never took practice jumps at a track meet.
He wanted to see the flabbergasted faces as his 5-foot frame flew over chest-high barriers and past taller opponents.
“I was always the smallest and nobody thought I could do anything,” said the award-winning, three-sport athlete from Winona. “Even my mom was scared for me to play football.”
“Then I watched him take down kids twice his size, and he proved he could hang with the big guys,” said Sheila Robinson. “He doesn’t give up on anything.”
Distracted by the demands of a new baby in the house, Cheri Hicks wasn’t expecting the worst when a “thunderclap headache” sent her to the hospital.
She’d had a C-section eight days before and suspected the pain was a side effect of spinal anesthesia.
But within 48 hours, a brain scan revealed a heartbreaking sight to her husband, Scott, a pharmacist at Walgreens in Brandon.
“There was a bleed in her right hemisphere,” Scott said. “It was about the size of a lemon, just a big black spot in the middle of the CT.”
For many patients who have suffered a disabling injury or illness, just getting to a doctor’s appointment can be an undertaking.
And for those that need to see several clinicians for a variety of needs, having to make multiple appointments can make their lives needlessly difficult.
“There are patients with stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities who live in the community and need to have access to a setting where they can see different skilled professional providers under one roof,” said Dr. Philip Blount of Methodist Pain & Spine Center.
When the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team needed help with their annual Kids’ Camp, they turned to Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics.
“They needed prosthetists on site in case anything happened with either the kids’ or team’s devices,” said Methodist O&P prosthetist Jennifer Long. “They asked us, and we said, ‘Well, yeah! Absolutely.’”
Long has made it her mission to encourage Methodist patients to participate in sports, so she was excited to get to work with the country’s most well-known team of athletes with amputations.
Volunteering can be habit-forming—just ask Shae White.
White started her new career as volunteer services coordinator for Methodist Rehabilitation Center in August, but volunteering has been part of her life for some time.
She first got into the habit of volunteering with her high school honor society. Then, while a student at Millsaps College, she began volunteering at Methodist Specialty Care Center like many of her teammates on Millsaps’ women’s basketball team.
Dr. Ray and Judy Lyle were looking forward to an active life after retirement.
They both love to travel. Ray loves golf. And with seven children and 14 grandchildren, they hoped to spend a lot more time with family.
But struggles with pain threatened to make the Ridgeland couple’s retirement a sedentary one.
“We adore our grandchildren,” Judy said. “I couldn’t get on the floor to play with them. Pain from my back caused so many other pains, any time I tried to exercise or do anything it hurt.”
Eleven years ago, Methodist Rehabilitation Center researchers made a ground-breaking discovery when they were the first to link West Nile Virus to polio-like damage to the spinal cord.
MRC has since grown into an internationally recognized center for WNV research and treatment of the neurological complications of the infection, attracting patient referrals from as far away as Washington and Virginia.