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Two of Mississippi’s leading health-care providers are formally affiliating to provide a powerful new model for neuroscience research, education and clinical care in the state.

The affiliation, approved today by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees, aligns the expertise of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Methodist Rehabilitation Center and promises enhanced services to thousands of state residents recovering from stroke, brain and spinal injuries, movement disorders and other neurological conditions.


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Methodist Specialty Care Center in Flowood, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s long-term care facility for the severely disabled, recently honored its outstanding volunteers.

“Our volunteers do so much to enrich the lives of our residents,” said Robby Scucchi, director of volunteer services at the center. “We are very fortunate to have volunteers like our honorees who day after day, week after week, hour after hour, contribute their time to the facility.”

Patricia Powers of Pearl was named Volunteer of the Year.


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The Fifth annual Walk & Roll for Research will be held on Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The event benefits the Wilson Research Foundation at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and will be held on the grounds of Methodist Specialty Care Center, One Layfair Drive in Flowood, and the nearby walking trail around Mirror Lake. 

“We walk or roll to honor patients who have overcome disabling obstacles and achieved mobility and independence,” said Chris Blount, foundation director.


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The same rocket-science technology that helps elite athletes get off the disabled list is putting people back on their feet at Methodist Rehabilitation Center Outpatient Services.
 
The Flowood clinic is the only facility in Mississippi to offer AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill training to the general public. The NASA-inspired system off-loads as much as 80 percent of a person’s weight and is now an FDA-approved device for functional rehab and a training aid for everyday athletes.
 


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Dr. Philip Blount has a special empathy for patients seeking relief from painful and disabling injuries.

During his first year at the University of Mississippi Medical School, the Jackson native suffered “major multiple trauma” in a car wreck. He spent six weeks in the hospital and had to take a leave of absence from his studies to fully recover.


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Ever since he fell 21 feet from a deer stand, Blake Barber of Vicksburg has been wearing “a big Ninja Turtle shell.”

At least that’s what his 2-year-old son, Mason, calls the chest-to-waist brace. 

At Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, the equipment is known as a thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis. It’s the default fashion for patients whose spines have been pieced back together with rods and screws.


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When he ran hurdles for Montgomery High School in Kilmichael, Stevelyn Robinson never took practice jumps at a track meet.

He wanted to see the flabbergasted faces as his 5-foot frame flew over chest-high hurdles and past much taller opponents.

Today, the Winona teen still likes surprising people, but now it’s all about proving what’s possible after a paralyzing spinal cord injury.

Merry Claire Wardlaw of Flowood said she’ll never forget what happened the night she gave Stevelyn tickets to a Germantown High School football game.


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He goes to class, studies hard, hits the gym, cheers on the Bulldogs on game day and even finds a little time to party in the Cotton District.

Trainor Storey rarely stands still, like most 20-year-old students at Mississippi State University.

But just a year ago, his life was at a standstill.


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“Hey, what are you doing?” 

If Robyn Thomas had answered that text, the reply might have been: Fighting for my life.

On May 21, 2012, the Snow Lake teen was found trapped in her silver Ford Fusion, the victim of a brain-damaging crash. 

“We believe she looked down at her phone and hit a tree going 60 miles per hour,” said her mother, Kim. 

Robyn can’t recall being pried from the wreckage with the Jaws of Life. Or the helicopter whisking her to The Med in Memphis. Or her parents’ despair when they learned their 19-year-old daughter might not survive the night.


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Jay Killen couldn’t see with his eyelids sewn shut.

He couldn’t talk with a breathing tube down his throat.

And he sure as heck couldn’t move.  All his muscles—even those that control blinking—had been put on strike by a strange, head-to-toe paralysis.

So the Horn Lake man could only listen in horror as doctors discussed removing his life support.

“I overheard them tell my wife, Amanda, that they wanted to take me off my feeding tube and ventilator. I thought: Oh my God.”

And Amanda thought: Oh no you won’t give up on my husband.


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