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MRC News

It has been a record-breaking year for West Nile virus infections, but Crystal Walley doesn’t need newspaper headlines to warn her of the ravages of the mosquito-borne disease.

Reminders are all around her Wayne County home. There’s the power wheelchair parked in her dining room. The physical therapy appointments on her calendar. Even the fuschia-colored Jeep in the driveway.

Methodist Rehabilitation Center will present a free seminar on relieving back pain at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Embassy Suites in Ridgeland.

Seminar speakers will be pain management expert Dr. Bruce Hirshman of Jackson and physical therapist Joe Jacobson of Madison. The two will discuss the everyday causes of back pain, common myths about back pain and the most effective treatments.

On a particularly hot afternoon in late September, Shaquille Vance stood on the Madison-Ridgeland Academy track surrounded by a crowd of adoring middle schoolers.

They were clamoring to have his autograph emblazoned on the veritable rainbow of running shoes they held aloft.

At that moment, to those children, he was the biggest superstar in the world.

At Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s Assistive Technology Clinic, physical therapist Allison Fracchia of Jackson does whatever it takes to fit patients with disabilities with the best equipment for their needs.

She even went back to the classroom to help 51-year-old Dean Whitehead of Indianola.

When his unique posture cried out for a wheelchair with custom-molded seating, she got the certification necessary to design and recommend a custom system known as Ride Designs.

An early surge in West Nile virus (WNV) cases has Mississippians bracing for a possible peak year for the mosquito-borne disease.

But that’s not the only reason a crowd is expected at the next meeting of a Jackson support group for WNV survivors.

The other draw is the meeting’s new location. On Aug. 24, the group will begin gathering at Methodist Rehabilitation Center, the Jackson hospital where scientists have made a series of significant WNV discoveries.

As Olympic fever begins to grip the world this week, three Mississippians also have their sights set on London.

Those three—track and field athlete Shaquille Vance of Houston, Miss., and wheelchair fencers Ryan Estep of Florence and Joey Brinson of Florence—will represent the United States at the 2012 Paralympic Games, which kick off August 29.

By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service

This May is the first time Frank Alexander ever paid attention to stroke awareness month.

He never felt sick, so why worry?

Now he’s a stroke survivor who’s spreading the word: What you don’t know about stroke risks CAN hurt you.

“I hadn’t been to the doctor since I retired from the military on June 30, 1990,” said the 62-year-old Jackson resident. “I felt fine. But I guess things can creep up on you.”

By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service

Book signings typically take place in bookstores.

But Hot Coffee native Dwight Owens wanted to share his life story with those who helped give the tale a happy ending.

That’s why a recent signing for Owens’ memoir “Still Standing” took place at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC). Staff at the Jackson hospital helped Owens reclaim his independence after he was paralyzed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.