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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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. 

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Methodist Rehabilitation Center was selected as one of four nationally recognized rehab institutions to receive a Tier II Multi Year Quality of Life Initiative Grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.  With these funds, Methodist has established the new Navigator Program for spinal cord injured persons to ease the transition from hospital to home.  Arash Sepehri is care coordinator for the Navigator Program.

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Methodist Rehabilitation Center and Paralyzed Veterans of America will sponsor a free boccia training clinic on November 15.

Boccia is a precision ball sport similar to the Italian game of bocce that was developed to be played by persons with physical disabilities. It has been a Paralympic sport since 1984.

“We are delighted to welcome Jeff Jones, High Performance Director of Team USA Boccia, who will conduct the clinic and supply the necessary equipment for this event,” said Methodist Rehab Therapeutic Recreation Director Ginny Boydston. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

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  1.  Educate yourself properly. Know and identify the possible scenarios for injury regarding your activity in order to prevent them. Learning basic first aid is also invaluable for outdoor recreation.
  2. Always pack accordingly for your activity. A first aid kit with basic, versatile supplies is a must, and tools such as a hatchet or compass can be essential in the outdoors. Also make sure you have packed an ample supply of drinking water, especially during the summer.

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Man vs. nature—everyone’s heard the harrowing tales of people succumbing to the elements, disappearing in the woods, or hurting themselves in the middle of nowhere with little hope of rescue.

It’s enough to make any Mississippian reluctant to leave the safe, air-conditioned confines of their homes, particularly in the sweltering summer.

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