For over 15 years, Eric Kelly of Jackson has been living with lymphedema.

The chronic condition causes swelling in the arms or legs from lymphatic fluid buildup, and there is no cure. But it can be managed with proper care.

“It’s something that’s just never going to go away,” said Kelly, who has lymphedema in his legs. “It’s a steady process of learning to manage it. And I’m managing it much better now—I’m able to walk better, without pain.”

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Candidates want to end speeches with a bang instead of a whisper.

So speech pathologist Heather Wise of Madison tells the vote-getters to practice vocal hygiene.

The term describes habits that promote a strong and healthy voice. And the strategy could save the loud and long-winded from committing vocal abuse. 

“Many candidates use their voices in ways that cause strain,” said the therapist for Methodist Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation in Flowood, a division of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

“Donald Trump is the biggest yeller of them all.”

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Sheri Carter feels like a toy soldier as she swings her arms and takes giant steps through her Pearl neighborhood.

“It’s kind of funny looking,” said the 59-year-old. “I wait until dark. And I stop when a car comes by.”

But quitting the exercise is out of the question. It’s part of an innovative therapy that’s helping Carter keep her Parkinson’s disease symptoms at bay.

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Methodist Rehabilitation Center occupational therapist Ashlee Ricotta of Brandon recently received her Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) certification from the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED).

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Three Methodist Rehabilitation Center physical therapists recently received their Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

The ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers’ needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices, according to RESNA.

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Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson has named its latest Employees of the Quarter.

Ernestine Crate of Madison was named Clinical Services Employee of the Quarter. She serves as a staff nurse for MRC’s Stroke Recovery Program, and will celebrate 25 years with the hospital in April.

Anthony Smith of Ridgeland was named Support Services Employee of the Quarter. He serves as a motion lab technician for MRC’s Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. 

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The question came two days after Christmas and it sent Shanna Cumberland to her knees.

“Would you like to donate your daughter’s organs?”

It had been seven days since 20-year-old Brianna May had fallen headfirst off her horse, and Cumberland thought her comatose daughter was holding her own.

But Brianna was showing signs of brain death, said her doctors. It was time for family and friends to say good-bye.

“We thought we had lost her,” Cumberland said. “We were planning for her funeral.”

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Eight-year-old D.J. Watkins was at Methodist Rehabilitation Center when he saw a poster from the hospital’s Now I Can campaign.

It showed once paralyzed Hollie Harvey walking along a park path with her husband and three children. And the story it told sent D.J. racing to the room where his 33-year-old father lay paralyzed from a stroke.

“It gave me hope my dad would get better,” D.J. said. “I told him you’re going to be OK. You’re going to be like those people on the wall.”

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Everything in the room was familiar, yet nothing was the same.

That’s how physical therapist Gary Heine felt as he entered the sixth floor therapy gym at Methodist Rehabilitation Center.

All around were the usual tools of his trade. Exercise bikes for patients to pedal. Colorful balls to lift and throw. Mat tables to stretch out on. Even a small set of stairs to climb.

Yet despite 32 years as a PT—including 18 leading Mississippi Baptist Medical Center’s rehab department—Heine felt like a nervous newbie as he took in his surroundings.

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Baptism is a sacrament and rite of passage for many people of faith.

But for Charles Ball, a Baptist, his chosen denomination’s doctrine of full immersion presented a challenge.

“I had made up my mind to get baptized before I came here,” said Ball, 36, who recently became a resident of Methodist Speciality Care Center, a long-term care facility for people with severe disabilities.  “But we never could figure out how to go about doing it until recently.”

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