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MRC News

JACKSON, Miss.—On the second floor of Methodist Rehabilitation Center near it’s Atrium Mall, Charlie Carmichael and Lucy Millsaps have been hanging paintings and drawings since 8:30 a.m. It’s now 1 p.m.

They are preparing for the 13th annual Goodwill Art Exhibit that is held each year at the Jackson hospital. A reception for the artists and the public is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. The art will remain on display at MRC for the public to see until June 11.

PEARL, Miss.—When Clinton Police Sgt. Creston Berch writes a traffic citation for an unbuckled safety belt or—like today—gives a speech to a room full of teenagers about driving safety, it’s not just business. It’s very personal.

Five years ago, Berch and his partner were late for a training exercise and were speeding on Interstate 20 trying to make up for lost time, he said. They weren’t wearing seat belts.

JACKSON, Miss.—Dr. Dobrivoje Stokic, director of the Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, was the keynote speaker at the Jackson hospital’s annual employee recognition banquet on April 17.

HATTIESBURG, Miss.—For Jamie McPherson, complete recovery from the amputation of his lower right leg meant more than walking, running and jumping again. It meant helping others through their time of need as well.

The former University of Southern Mississippi defensive end who lost his leg to an on-the-field injury, not only lives a fully active life with his artificial limb, but now works with other amputees as a Methodist Rehabilitation Center prosthetic technician. He’s now building prosthetic limbs for others.

PORT GIBSON, Miss.—When Frank Gambrell found himself suddenly confined to a wheelchair and diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1986, doctors told him to put his personal affairs in order and be ready for the worst.

Today, however, the Port Gibson resident travels to Jackson each Tuesday to volunteer his time at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and to practice with the Jackson Jags, the Jackson hospital’s wheelchair rugby team. He has gone back to Alcorn State University and earned his degree in Biology with a 3.6 grade point average.

JACKSON, Miss.—Teamwork, courage and determination was on display at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson as current and former patients from around the state joined with staff and visitors to welcome the Jackson Bandits home after their long road trip.

A large rally complete with cheerleaders, music, banners and signs was held in the hospital’s two-story Atrium Mall on March 15.

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 whole lot of fun,” says Mike Blackburn, team captain of the Jackson Jags quad rugby team, which is sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

JACKSON, Miss.—Before her children were teenagers, Peggy Napoli took them to the mountains to learn how to ski. More than a dozen years and one spinal cord injury later, it was Napoli’s son, Brandon, who took her to the mountains to learn how to ski all over again this February.

Napoli, of Crystal Springs, was one of six people with disabilities who traveled to Breckenridge, Colo., with Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s recreational therapy program. The Jackson hospital’s program helps the physically disabled learn about activities they can be involved in despite their injury.

JACKSON, Miss.—It’s a natural rule of life. You fall off your bike, you get up, dust yourself off and climb back on. But for one Petal teenager, falling off a bicycle has lead to a much longer, much harder climb back up. It’s become a battle with spinal cord injury.

In September, Petal High student Brett Hornick, 15, fell off his bike while riding with his friends. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. He broke five ribs, his neck and sustained a cervical spinal cord injury.

JACKSON, Miss.—Whenever a visitor makes a purchase at the Methodist Rehabilitation Center gift shop, that person is contributing to the Wilson Research Foundation.

In 2000, the volunteer-led gift shop turned a profit of more than $17,500. All of it was donated to the Wilson Research Foundation to help fund research into ways to improve recovery from spinal cord injury, brain injury and stroke.