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MRC News

John “Bones” Cossar has been flaunting his golf scorecard lately.

But it has nothing to do with proving whether he eagled, birdied or parred.

For Cossar, just making it to a tee box is evidence of an evolution he feared he’d never make. Just nine months ago, he couldn’t move a muscle, let alone swing a club.

“Every muscle in my body was paralyzed,” said the chairman emeritus of Mississippi Valley Title Insurance in Ridgeland. “I couldn’t wiggle a finger. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow. I was on a breathing machine and a feeding tube.”

When John O’Neal’s lower right leg was amputated after a horse riding accident, the South Mississippi farmer struggled to manage his 400 acres.

He was basically crippled by an ill-fitting prosthesis.

Then he began seeing Larry Word at Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics in Hattiesburg. “And it was a like new era for me,” O’Neal said.

“Larry made me a new leg, and that thing fit like a glove. I couldn’t even work with my other leg, and now I work seven days a week. As far as I’m concerned, Larry’s the best. I got nothing bad to say about him--except he left.”

Police officers go to work every day knowing that anything can happen. Just ask Bryam’s Sgt. Scott Lawrence.

“In August of 2016, I was involved in a police pursuit that ended in a crash and a fight with an armed robbery suspect,” he said. “During the fight, my neck got injured.”

But it would be a brain injury that put Lawrence in inpatient therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, beginning a year-long road to recovery.

It happened after Lawrence elected for surgery to fix a herniated disc in his neck.

After love, marriage, baby carriages and such, some couples are renewing their vows—to volunteer.

Two sets of married retirees from Ridgeland are spending their spare time helping out at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson. And they’ve done so well, MRC Volunteer Coordinator/Human Resources Recruiter Eliza Ueltschey hopes to find more do-goodin’ duos.

 “It’s a great thing for a couple to do together,” she said. “And I think patients really enjoy it when they find out volunteers are a husband and wife team.”

J.D. Mathis isn’t wild about change.

The rice broker still writes business orders longhand. And he relies on old-fashioned flip phones to reach his customers.

So what would possess him to abruptly leave the familiarity of his Cleveland home and move 130 miles away?

Because he felt his future depended on it. After a paralyzing car accident, Mathis wanted the best chance to walk again. And that desire led him to Methodist Outpatient Therapy in Flowood, a division of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

In the world of cheerleading, you’ve got to be able to “stand up and holler.”

So Anna Lauren Green has every reason to feel frustrated.

The Benton Academy cheerleader can holler, alright, but standing up is still a work in progress. Since an Aug. 18 car crash, she’s been nursing two broken legs and a fractured left wrist.

But she’s feeling more confident about her recovery after finishing a week and a half of inpatient therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

Andrew Pates Jr. was on the cusp of a new adventure.

Once a teacher near Chicago and later a lawyer in San Diego, the 68-year-old retiree was ready to move to Mound Bayou and build a hotel. Then a freak fall in a parking lot put everything on hold.

“I hit the back of my head and they said if I had taken the blow a little higher, I would have been DOA,” Pates said.

Instead, he survived the accident only to become “an upside down paraplegic.” His legs could move, but his upper body was rigid.

“My shoulders were frozen and getting progressively worse,” he said.

Like a lot of new fathers, Frank Elam Sr. of Eupora was awed by the arrival of his firstborn on Aug. 9.

“It was not real to me until that point,” he said. “Then I was like: ‘Oh man, this is a human—my little human.’”

Just 40 days before, it was up in the air whether Elam would be on hand to welcome his son into the world. On June 30, a car wreck paralyzed Elam, just a month before the original due date for Franklin Darnell Elam Jr.

The thought of having a stroke in his 40s had never really crossed Greg Plump’s mind.

Until it happened.

“It just came out of the blue,” said Plump, who is 48. “I was working out every day and I tried to eat healthy.”

Plump has always been fit and athletic. A former Mississippi State University quarterback, he’s best remembered for taking over after Sleepy Robinson was injured in the 1992 season.

When it was time to pick a topic for his high school senior project, Chandler Norman wanted to learn more about the world of prosthetics.

And with good reason. The 18-year-old from Sebastopol had his left leg amputated above the knee following an ATV accident in early 2016. He then learned to walk again with a custom prosthetic leg built by Methodist Orthotics & Prosthetics in Flowood.