JACKSON, Miss.—After nearly 26 years of treating and helping the physically disabled, Dr. Jack Aldridge is leaving Methodist Rehabilitation Center to fight his own fight—a battle with multiple sclerosis.

Friends, colleagues, former patients and staff honored him at a hospital reception for his lifelong commitment. Two of those guests brought a very special person to the party. Eliska Lee Brown, who recently celebrated her second birthday, is the child of spinal cord-injured Joey Brown and his wife, Rosemary. She is also Dr. Aldridge’s godchild.


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CLINTON, Miss.—Erin Pryor, a physical therapist at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, and Fair, a golden retriever, will show 120 day-campers at the Clinton YMCA how they work with spinal cord and brain-injured patients at the Jackson Hospital.

Their presentation, set for Monday, July 16, at 1 p.m., is part of Think First, an MRC-sponsored injury prevention program aimed at young children and teenagers that tries to prevent spinal cord, brain and other traumatic injuries by focusing on bicycle, automobile, firearm, boat, swimming and diving safety.


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JACKSON, Miss.—A dedication ceremony in Jackson marked the opening of the state’s first apartment complex designed for the physically disabled and built with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Mississippi Methodist Accessible Housing, Inc. (MMAH), a not-for-profit corporation formed by Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) to increase housing options for the physically disabled in Mississippi, worked to secure a section 811 program grant from HUD to build the complex.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Tom Burnley, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a workplace accident, will speak to children at the Jackson Public Schools Environmental Learning Center at 6190 Highway 18 in Jackson on Wednesday, June 20, at 1 p.m.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center honored one of its most loved and valuable staff members with a birthday and anniversary party.

Fair, a golden retriever who is turning four, is celebrating two years of working with spinal cord and brain-injured patients at the Jackson hospital. He was trained by Canine Companions for Independence of Santa Rosa, Calif., to work with patients who have disabilities or limitations. He is one of only five facility dogs working in the organization’s eight-state Southeast region and the only one in Mississippi.


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RIDGELAND, Miss.—When Hattiesburg’s Carlos Ladner rolled across the finish line in Saturday’s Heatwave Triathlon, it marked the first time one of Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s disabled triathlon teams had completed the Ridgeland event.

Ladner, 21, raced a wheelchair over the event’s final 6.2 mile segment in 42:19 to give his team an overall time of 2:52:10. Before Heatwave, Ladner finished second overall in the prestigious Gum Tree 10K race held in May in Tupelo.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Lynn Goff’s back pain was so severe he couldn't walk 15 feet without his legs going numb. But a procedure being performed at Methodist Rehabilitation Center has helped Goff, 35, of Clinton, go back to work and countless others like him do battle with back pain.

It’s called transforaminal epidural steroid injection and works for about 80 percent of patients, said Dr. Jeff Summers, MRC pain management specialist.


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RIDGELAND, Miss.—When Tupelo resident Randy Lavender looks out over the water this Saturday and prepares to race in Ridgeland’s Heatwave Triathlon, he may feel a little more nervous than the other few hundred competitors.

Lavender, who lost the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident 16 years ago, will have to rely on his arms alone to pull him through the half-mile reservoir swim before he tags off to Josh Sharpe of Jackson who will ride a hand cycle over the 24.8 mile bike course.


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JACKSON, Miss.—Imagine football in bumper cars with the intensity cranked all the way up and you have an idea of how quadriplegics play rugby.

It’s two teams with four athletes apiece in specialized wheelchairs slamming into each other working to get a volleyball down a basketball court and across the goal line.

“It’s a lot of fun,” says Scott Davis, 38, of Ovett, a member of the Jackson Jags quad rugby team, which is sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.


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TUPELO, Miss.—The annual conference of the United Methodist Church today passed a resolution honoring Earl R. Wilson for visionary leadership, inspiration and motivation in founding Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson in 1975.

Wilson, who also served as chairman of the board of trustees at MRC for 25 years, died of a stroke on September 25, 2000.


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