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Neurological Disease

Now I Can... take care of business

Less than four months after contracting Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome, Dana Kidd of Meridianreturned to her job as deputy administrator for the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Initially paralyzed by the rare neurological disorder, Kidd credits staff of Methodist Rehabilitation Center for helping her make a comeback.

“If not for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said. “They pushed me.”

A go-getter by nature, Kidd rose to the challenge to reclaim the career she loves. But she says her close call has taught her to take time to smell the roses, too.

Now I Can... have a banner recovery

When you sell flags for a living, you’ve got to love the Fourth of July. But the freedom celebration is especially meaningful to Jim McIntyre, owner of A Complete Flag Source in Jackson.

On July 5, 2019, a disabling case of West Nile virus encephalitis nearly cost him his independence. “My body was not properly functioning at all,” he said. “I had very little movement in my arms and legs.”

“My life is nothing like it was”: Nine months post-COVID, Terry woman still pushing to overcome lingering effects of virus

Wanda Brandon of Terry first tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 1.

Some nine months later, her recovery is still a work in progress.

“People think you have COVID and get over it,” said Brandon, 58, the former assistant director for child nutrition at Hinds County Schools. “But there is so much lingering stuff. It has changed my life.”

Brandon’s list of complications includes pain, insomnia, depression, fatigue, weakness, crippling nerve damage in her right leg---even hair loss.

“I want to do what I love to do”: Northwest Rankin teacher back in classroom after therapy at Methodist Rehab helps her overcome post-COVID symptoms

On Aug. 6, first-day jitters were in full bloom at Northwest Rankin Middle School in Brandon.

Everyone from students to staff were getting their bearings in a new building. And the adjustment had to be particularly arduous for eighth-grade art teacher Juliette Collier.

It was her first day back at work since a severe case of COVID-19 nearly killed her. At one point, her mother, Weezie Polk, was told: “You need to come see her, she’s probably not going to make it.”

“He might not make it”: Methodist Rehab helps 24-year-old overcome damage left by life-threatening case of COVID-19

He might not make it.”

That’s what doctors told Andrea Blackwell of Smithdale as they rushed her 24-year-old son, John, to a Jackson hospital on March 18. His oxygen level was dangerously low, due to a severe case of COVID-19.

“I was bluish-gray, that’s what one of my ICU nurses told me,” John said. “Obviously, I don’t remember that.”

John spent 106 days in Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, much of that time on a respirator.

“He knows what he’s talking about”: Doctor who leads Methodist Rehab’s Recovery After COVID Clinic is fellow survivor of virus

It was her first visit to Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s new Recovery After COVID Clinic.

Yet Stacie Smith felt sure that clinic physician Dr. Michael Montesi would understand her symptoms. She’d already met the family practitioner when both rehabbed from COVID-19 at MRC.

“It was my first day of therapy, and I realized he had COVID just as bad as me, and he was walking without a walker or cane—that was very inspiring,” said the Jackson respiratory therapist.

Pearl woman continues to teach therapeutic horse riding with help of Parkinson’s therapy

Christy Henderson of Pearl gave up horseback riding after Parkinson’s disease made it difficult to stay in the saddle.

“I get so stiff when I’m up there, it’s not fun anymore,” she said.

But Henderson still gets a kick out of helping people with special needs enjoy the sport at RideABILITY Therapeutic Riding Center in Brandon.

So when a series of recent falls threatened that pastime, Henderson took action. She started doing LSVT Big, an intense therapy program for movement problems related to Parkinson’s.

Facial muscles on the fritz?: Physical therapy offers treatments to ease symptoms of Bell’s palsy

As she brushed her teeth one morning in November, Trenton Miller noticed something odd.

Water was dripping from the left side of her mouth. By afternoon, her adjacent facial muscles were also on the fritz.

The symptoms could have signaled a stroke. But Miller was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a type of paralysis that temporarily freezes muscles in the face.

“I had no expression,” said the 52-year-old Madison resident. “It’s weird to look at yourself in the mirror and not be able to move your face as hard as you try.”

‘I don’t think that disability should matter’: MRC’s Quest program helps Indianola woman born with cerebral palsy get back into the workforce

When you call customer service, you never know who that voice on the other end of the line could be.

It might be someone as cordial and devoted to helping as 27-year-old LaBrittany Knight of Indianola.

She works from home, answering calls for Whirlpool’s warranty services department from her wheelchair. Knight was born with cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

'I very easily could have died': After close call with COVID-19, Indianola doctor helps MRC gather data on long-term impact of disease

A Code Blue used to send Dr. Michael Montesi running to help a patient in distress.

But on July 26, the alarm brought people dashing to save his life.

“I don’t remember any of it,” he said. “They found me on the floor face down, and then I went into respiratory arrest. They called the code because I had stopped breathing, and they didn’t know if my heart had stopped.”

Like many of the patients he treated at Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland, Montesi had been stricken with COVID-19. By the next day, he was headed by plane to Baptist Medical Center in Jackson.


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