Pascagoula Doctor’s Inspiring Story Featured on ABC’s ’20/20′

Last week, an ABC News “20/20” film crew arrived at Singing River Hospital to interview Dr. Tyler Sexton, a staff pediatrician who overcame the odds and became a doctor, despite his battle with disabling cerebral palsy. 

ABC is using his inspirational story to help promote a series of their own, “The Good Doctor”, which is set to debut on Sept. 25 at 9:00 p.m. 

“The Good Doctor” is about a young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome and his struggles to overcome his disabilities, while excelling at his job in the pediatric surgical unit. 

ABC will use the short segment on Pascagoula’s Dr. Sexton, and profiles on other doctors who have overcome incredible odds, as companion pieces to the new show, Singing River spokeswoman Georgia Storey said.

Dr. Sexton has had real-life struggles himself before achieving his goal of becoming a pediatrician. 

Sexton was born 28 weeks premature. As a result, his lungs had collapsed. The lack of oxygen to his brain affected the lower portion of his body. After falling 4-6 times a day and undergoing 16 surgeries, the doctors prepared Sexton’s parents of the possibility of him not making it. “They said if I did survive I would be blind, physically/mentally disabled and would not be able to walk. But thank God they were wrong!”, says Sexton. 

At 18 months, Sexton was not able to sit up by himself. His parents took him to to the doctor for an MRI and the results came back with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. 

We all have handicaps 

Sexton’s dream of becoming a pediatrician was fueled by wanting to give hope to patients instead of worst-case scenarios. He’s a rare pediatrician who specializes in wound and burn care on the Mississippi Coast. 

Sexton wears Marvel superhero t-shirts to connect with his kids and show them we’re all superheroes. “Everyone is handicapped. We all struggle with something and these kids are no different.”, says Sexton. Dr. Sexton understands these kids and what they’ve been through. “I understand how they feel. I was there where they were. I can identify with them to let them know it’s okay to laugh and cry; it’s okay to be vulnerable. It gives me a touch across the board for kids and their parents”, says Sexton. 

A superhero himself 

Dr. Sexton is a super hero on his own, overcoming the prejudice of institutions of medical education in the United States. 

He has always been intellectually sharp, but the prejudices behind his disability gave his advisor and other students reasons to try and hold him back. 

“When I tried to go out and interview for medical schools, I applied a dozen different institutions and was rejected by all of them on the basis of my disability. They told me I’ll never become a doctor and people won’t come to me because of my cerebral palsy”, says Sexton. 

He was rejected at several medical schools and thrown out of rotations with medical students, because he had a service dog. But the law was on his side, and he succeeded.

Working through with the kids and adults spurred him to write his book, “God Bless These Little Legs”, which is how an ABC producer discovered Sexton and his story. 

“My disability gives me credibility. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it,” he said. “Without cerebral palsy I wouldn’t be the man who I am today.” 

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CBRES Hosts Summer Interns

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For the seventh year in a row, Chevron Business & Real Estate Services (CBRES) has welcomed summer interns to the Pascagoula Refinery.

Open to dependents of current Refinery employees, the program employs 15 interns through TMG Industrial. The group reports to Kathy Council under the direction of David Trott (CBRES). The team is performing various jobs to spruce up the refinery, such as painting the Shipping building and parking bumpers for upcoming turnarounds as well as general clean up at Procurement warehouses during inclement weather. They have also assisted with less routine projects, like pretending to be accident victims during an emergency services training exercise in June.

This year’s interns and mentors are (from left) Wesley Drivers (GCA), Jon Tibbs (Gulf Breeze Landscape), Avie Porser (GCA), Keaton Walley, Clarence Kelly (GCA), Tristen Eubanks, Jerry Williams (GCA), Patrick Taylor, Joshua Robinson, Lashaun Love, Whitney Owens (GCA), John Tyler Howell, Christopher Graham, Chandler Fox, Cassie Crocker, Dylan Cagle, Hailey Boney, David Trott (CBRES), Montie Smith, Laken Lambert, Jon Hansen (GSI), Aaron McDaniel, Kathy Council (TMG) and (not pictured) Alora Houston.

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Volunteers, City Partner to Make Playground More Accessible

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From left, Kenny Erwin (Health Quest), Sean O’Grady (Procurement) and Charles Barber (Continuous Improvement) rolled up their sleeves on behalf of the ENABLED Employee Network to help workers with the City of Pascagoula install a new handicap-accessible merry-go-round at Beach Park in Pascagoula. The equipment was purchased by Junior Auxillary of Pascagoula-Moss Point as part of an ongoing project to provide more accessible playground areas at local parks. The moulded plastic design makes the equipment easier for children to stay seated while riding and doesn’t cause splinters.

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Singing River Medical Clinic Pascagoula Now Serving Patients Seven Days a Week

Singing River Health System’s Pascagoula Medical Clinic has announced new hours to serve patients seven days a week.   The clinic, located on Highway 90 next to Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, is now open for appointments or walk-in visits as follows:
 
Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday:  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday:  10:00 am – 4:00 pm
 
The clinic is staffed by seven physicians and nurse practitioners along with their support staff to treat everything from acute to chronic conditions for children and adults. Jason Ely, Director of Primary Care Services for the health system, notes that the new hours will better serve the Pascagoula community. “As a community health provider, making our team available whenever they’re needed most is a priority, be it for an earache, a fever, or chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. We invite everyone to come out and see us,” he said. 
 
More information on the clinic is available at https://www.singingriverhealthsystem.com/clinics/pascagoula/ or by calling 228-762-3466.
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Prayer Leads to Local Churches’ Property Swaps

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In recent years, three local churches have been struggling with decisions to make on whether to expand their buildings or face relocation due to their overwhelming congregational growth. However, with the help of the community and a lot of prayer, location plans for all three churches could not have aligned more perfectly.

Three important changes happened that made this property swap possible. Firstly, Fuentes Da Vida Iglesia Bautista (the first Spanish speaking church to be added to the Jackson County Baptist Association) needed a permanent home. They originally met in the fellowship hall at Calvary Baptist (2101 Market St.) and then moved to a building in Orange Grove (formerly First Baptist Orange Grove). The church had been praying for a building in Pascagoula that had enough space to meet their needs. They had been growing steadily and needed more room, especially for the children of the church.

Second, Arlington Heights Baptist was also experiencing similar growth and were at a crossroads regarding their facilities. Pastor Michael Wilkinson of Arlington Heights Baptist said, “Adding on to our buildings would have been expensive and our ridiculous building codes would have made us elevate anything built outside of the existing footprint. So, our church was praying for an answer to our facilities problem.”

Third, Calvary Baptist church was praying about their facilities problem. For decades, Calvary Baptist Church had been a vibrant, growing church that animated their large and beautiful building. In recent years, the building had come to exceed their needs and they were praying that God would bring new life to 2101 Market Street.

“What happened next was pretty amazing”, says Pastor Wilkinson. Casual conversations with Derrick Tapper, the Pastor of Calvary Baptist, and Ricardo Fuentes, Pastor at Fuentes Da Vida, turned into serious conversations and spread to the members of Arlington Baptist church. The idea was that Arlington would move to the Calvary facilities and invite the membership of Calvary and Fuentes Da Vida to move to the Arlington facilities. Wilkinson says, “Since we all believe that everything we have belongs to God and is to be used for His purposes, none of us saw a reason for money to change hands.”

In January of 2017, each church had to overcome internal challenges in order to make peace with the decision. Nonetheless, their prayers were answered and everyone came together with one mind and heart and voted “yes” to the decision to make the move.

The goal of the change in location was that the churches would be better positioned to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ in Pascagoula. “We believe that God is living and active and that He intervenes and guides us to His will. After praying for a season, we were sure that this move was His will for each of our churches and our community”, says Pastor Wilkinson.

After the property swap, the church began to realize that they could help flourish the community in other ways. Pastor Wilkinson noted an additional benefit from this change: “We believe that God locates congregations like ours throughout communities in order to be a blessing in those communities. Our first priority is making known the good news of Jesus Christ, but we are also seeking to help our community to flourish in every way. In light of Pascagoula’s diverse population, we all saw a great opportunity to help Fuentes Da Vida, a church with a shared vision and mission, to reach out to our Spanish-speaking neighbors.”

The churches made the move and reopened in their respective locations in April of this year and have continued to receive blessings with new members thus far.

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Pascagoula Church Brings Jackson County Together

First United Methodist Church in Pascagoula has created a buzz this past year when they first began to rejuvenate the exterior part of their building. New landscaping led the church to winning the “Beautification Award” awarded by former mayor Jim Blevins. While the outer part of the church has drastically changed, the service inside is what has most people talking.

‘FUMC Pascagoula’ is hosting a free event & concert for the community called, “Underground Pascagoula.” The free event is to welcome the students of Jackson County and surrounding areas back to school with a free concert featuring Christian hip-hop artist and teaching pastor, KJ-52.

“The last time we did this event it went well. The youth pastors and churches in Pascagoula banded together to do what a lot of churches don’t do well, and that’s outreach,” event organizer Jamey Foster tells us. Foster also explains, “We haven’t done this event in a while. I am humbled and excited that our home church FUMC Pascagoula saw the vision and importance of hosting an event like this. Although FUMC Pascagoula is hosting it, it is for everyone. We are looking to our neighbors at Oasis, Centerpoint, Union Baptist, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, Riverside Baptist, Ingalls Baptist, Lighthouse, and recently moved Arlington, and all other churches from Jackson County to come out and support a county wide vision. We have a lot of young people spread across the schools in this district that I know will have a great time.”

FUMC Pascagoula has partnered with a few local businesses to help put on the event, Pastor Eddie Kirby tells jaxcohome.com, “We are really excited to host a community outreach like this. A fun, positive event for the whole family that is sponsored by the church I believe is needed in Pascagoula. It would be great to see this grow with the help of the community. We are looking forward to having a great time.”

Underground Pascagoula will be held at the Aaron Jones Interactive center on Market Street in Pascagoula. The event is free to the public. There will be door prizes and a drawing for a XBOX ONE. For more details, please contact Jamey Foster jamey@fumcpascagoula.org.

 

 

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Refinery Offers Training for Volunteer Firefighters

More than 50 local volunteer firefighters from (17) different fire departments attended the free annual training event hosted by the Pascagoula Refinery Plant Protection Department in April.

Firefighters who attended were able to practice dowsing flames at several of the fire training ground’s props, including the tanker truck and pump props. They also honed their search and rescue skills by navigating the smokehouse, which simulates conditions in a house fire, and received hands-on training using the Jaws of Life for rescuing victims from vehicles. There was also a presentation put on by Blossman Gas on how to properly take care of propane tank leaks and fires. The firefighters also received training on the use of firefighting foam.

Several vendors supported the training event, including ABC Recycle, Emergency Equipment Professionals, ORR Safety, Blossman Gas, Sunbelt Fire, Akron Brass, and Forts Lake Fire Department.

Also, a special thanks goes to training organizer Teddy Riley, and all of the Plant Protection and Emergency Response Team members who assisted with the event.

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Senator Addresses Retirees At Luncheon

Wicker-at-CRA-mtg Senator Addresses Retirees At Luncheon

The Singing River Chapter of the Chevron Retirees Association (CRA) welcomed Senator Roger Wicker as the keynote speaker at the June 1 meeting.

More than 80 people attended the luncheon at Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula. Sen. Wicker gave an overview of his work and priorities in Washington, including serving on the Armed Services Committee. He also took questions from the audience.

The Chevron Retirees Association holds a bi-monthly luncheon at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula. The Pascagoula Refinery will host a holiday dinner for retirees in the fourth quarter. Membership in the CRA is open to retirees of Chevron or one of its predecessor companies, or companies that have become part of Chevron. Dues are $3 per year. For more information, or to join, contact any of the CRA leaders:

Judi Lipscomb, president: attn.crasrc@gmail.com or 228-297-0993

Gary Stevens: stevensgdbs@cableone.net

Anne Williams: williamsamwtsw@bellsouth.net

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Look out, downtown Pascagoula. A new bar, The Jury Room, is coming soon.

18198980_1907950516149362_2709481092288564062_n-225x300 Look out, downtown Pascagoula. A new bar, The Jury Room, is coming soon.The Jury Room, Deliberations and Libations, is taking on the nightlife crowd of downtown Pascagoula and intends to also make a developmental impact in the area.

It will be open after hours as a distinctive bar — unique to Pascagoula — offering more than 100 bourbons and whiskies, along with reasonably priced beer, wine, and craft beers, owners say. Additionally, the Jury Room will have competitively priced drinks and happy hour specials, but will also offer high-end liquors.

Owners Ramsay Taylor of Moss Point and Parker Pugh of Pascagoula both have experience in the industry. Taylor has three ‘Tay’s Barbeque’ stores based in Pascagoula and ‘Drinx Wine and Liquor Warehouse’ in D’Iberville. Pugh owns the Dairy Queen in Pascagoula, along with three other locations in Mobile.

The two owners plan to advocate for the revitalization of downtown Pascagoula with the new bar, in hopes that it will bring business to local shops and eateries.  “It will not only offer somewhere else where people can go after work or meet up for a sports game, but it will also help keep people here in Pascagoula to shop and dine at the nearby stores and restaurants”, says Pugh.

The Jury Room plans to offer some unique features in the former Fretz building. It will have a fenced-in outdoor patio, along with available leasing space. The owners took the building, put a wall up down the center and gutted the kitchen-making it three separate spaces for lease.  The former kitchen will be a small apartment, the east side will serve as The Jury Room, and the west side will be available for an office/retail location.

Owners state the building “had more potential than the other locations”. “Many folks, including us, want to see the downtown area thrive and offer something different and all in a central area. Our plan just happens to fit perfectly”, says Pugh.

The name and logo have yet to go up on the building, but The Jury Room’s Facebook page already has more than 500 likes.

Plan to spend your football game days and after business hours at The Jury Room, opening mid-to late August.

 

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New Veterans’ Blue Plate Special

Singing River Health System in partnership with Morrison Healthcare has announced a new Veterans’ Blue Plate Special to be served daily at the hospital cafeterias for a discounted rate of just $5 per meal.

The Veterans’ Special will be offered at lunch and dinner seven days a week, and is available with any valid military identification.

“We are honored to serve our veterans with great health care when they need it and also with great dining offerings prepared by our outstanding Morrison’s Chefs,” said Chief Operating Officer Lee Bond. “It is our honor to invite veterans to be our guests.”

The cafeterias at both Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital are participating in the program, and open for lunch at 11:00 am and dinner at 4:00 pm.

For more information: contact Singing River Health System at (228)-818-1111

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