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MRC News

CLINTON, Miss.–Ever since a 1986 motorcycle accident left David Smith with a spinal cord injury, he’s had to rely on a wheelchair to get around. But these days he’s leaving the chair behind and setting his sights a lot higher.

When the 34 year-old Pearl resident isn’t driving his new Kenworth 18-wheeler cross-country, he’s scaling a three-story rock wall and thinking of the day he’ll be outdoors climbing up a real rock.

FLOWOOD, Miss.—Bruce Spann was helping friends cleanup after a February storm violently tore through Columbus, Miss., when a retainer wall came crashing down on him, severely injuring his right leg.

Emergency physicians told the Bastrop, La., resident that surgery to fuse his ankle would leave him with limited mobility and unable to do physically challenging things like running or climbing without assistance.

HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Members of Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s Quad Rugby team, the Jackson Jags, will practice Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Hattiesburg Recreation Center.

The purpose of the special practice is to expose the wheelchair sport to people with disabilities who may be unfamiliar with it, said Ginny Boydston, Jags coach and director of therapeutic recreation at Methodist Rehab in Jackson.

“It’s a fun sport and it’s a great opportunity for quadriplegics who might be sitting home and thinking they can’t have an active lifestyle,” Boydston said.

LAKE TOHO, Fla.—Doug Price of Corinth and Cleveland Short of Flowood will represent Methodist Rehabilitation Center in the first ever Grand National Championship for disabled fishermen Oct. 26-28 at Lake Toho in Osceola County, Fla.

The event is held by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and is a part of its National Bass Trail, a series of tournaments throughout the year for the disabled. The PVA Grand National Championship will be televised at a later date.

JACKSON, Miss.—For Chris Gill, playing with his band, Gillmore, before a rowdy crowd is a pleasure that was almost lost forever. On a Tuesday afternoon last April, the 34 year-old Ridgeland man was driving to a Jackson restaurant to perform when an 18 wheeler struck his car. He never made it to the show.

Gill suffered numerous broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. After emergency surgery, he underwent intensive therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation Center to learn how to walk again.

LUCEDALE, Miss.—This time last year, James Havard was looking pretty bad.

The 18 year-old senior at East Central High School had several broken bones and a tube placed in his throat to alleviate internal bleeding after a life-threatening car accident near Lucedale.

Havard, a tight end on the football team, also suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

FLOWOOD, Miss.—On a day with perfect, cool, fall weather, hundreds of runners, wheelchair racers and volunteers reunited at Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s east campus in Flowood to raise money for spinal cord and brain injury research.

Reunion Race, now in its 16th year, has grown into an annual tradition that draws able-bodied and physically challenged athletes from across the South.

JACKSON, Miss.—As a part of Think First, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s statewide injury prevention program, physicians and staff at the Jackson hospital are working with firefighters and paramedics to encourage children in Mississippi schools to always think first about bicycle safety.

Sammy Safety, Methodist Rehab’s injury prevention mascot, and the Jackson Fire Department have teamed up to teach students at McLeod Elementary School in Jackson proper hand signals and the importance of always wearing bike helmets. The Think First team encourages students to:

JACKSON, Miss.--After a traumatizing burn accident, Melissa Nixon is moving forward and giving thanks to those who helped piece her life back together.

With a cheerful smile and dancing blue eyes, Nixon walked around the east campus of Methodist Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday afternoon, greeting her caregivers with red roses and hugs to show her appreciation.

JACKSON, Miss.--Hundreds of health care workers crowded into Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s two-story Atrium Mall to show their sympathy and generosity for those killed in terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.

Methodist Rehab officials estimate more than 500 attended the hour-long memorial service where prayers were said and donations were taken for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. The audience also learned how they could donate to memorial funds for the families of fire fighters killed at the World Trade Center.