Polio Place

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Artifacts

Fill It, Seal It, Mail It

Janice (Knight) Hartman; Lititz, Pennsylvania; 1953

This is an ad appearing in a local Pennsylvania paper (Lancaster). It was taken right after I was out of isolation. I was diagnosed with Infantile Paralysis (Polio) after a lumbar puncture and put into isolation at Lancaster General Hospital. This picture of me and Nurse Sprout ("Sprouty" to her friends) was taken by the local National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis photographer. It was the first of several pictures of me that they used locally in newspapers and posters.

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My First Brace

Naomi Olsen; Niagara Falls, Canada

I got polio when I was five months old in 1953. At the age of three, a white dog would often sit with me on a blanket outside my house. One day as the dog was about to leave, I grabbed onto his fur. He calmly, as if knowing, took a few steps while I hung on for my life. My first steps were taken. Shortly after that day, I was fitted with my first brace. It has been uphill ever since.
 

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"Alligator" Iron Lung

Jim Costello, Ireland

Now 71, I have been using an iron lung from time to time for well over 55 years. I have also used a cuirass (chest shell), though that was nearly 25 years ago. I have also tried a rocking bed ventilator, a “Tunny” jacket and other types many years ago. Recently, I have been using either a Nippy or Breas noninvasive ventilator more and more. I use my present NIV vent with a nasal pillows interface, with the Adam Headgear Straps, and an HME in the circuit.

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Polio Pioneer Card

Thomas Brosh; Colorado Springs, Colorado; 1954

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My Field of Daisies

Barbara Cramer; 1976; Denver Colorado

I looked up into the black, cloud-filled skies and thought to myself; this is it, my last chance to be the athlete, the gold medalist I have always dreamed of being. I got set, placed the shot put under my chin, took a deep breath, and with a grunt, I let the shot put fly. It landed past the international record marker. I had done it. I had won Olympic Gold.

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Pauline

Edith (Graham) Morris; 1948, age 4; Auckland, New Zealand

I’m looking suspiciously at Dr. Earl Carlson, visiting from America, as I’m urged by nurse Pauline to shake his hand in this 1948 photograph. I was a patient at the Wilson Home for Crippled Children where I lived for over three years. I contracted infantile paralysis at the age of six months resulting in very floppy legs.

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Accessible Yosemite

Francine Falk-Allen

Yosemite National Park in central eastern California has impressive accessibility for those of us needing to use a wheelchair or sit scooter. I love the spectacular granite mountains, the woods and the meadows, but due to polio effects, cannot hike or ride a bike. Renting a scooter at Yosemite Lodge (or bringing a collapsible one) has allowed me to get closer to nature than I could in a car. I’m also now able to join my husband and friends on little jaunts around Yosemite Valley while they walk or ride their bikes.

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The early days of polio...

Kurt Sipolski, Richmond, Virginia

I contracted polio in 1948 at the age of two while visiting my grandmother in Illinois with my mother, from our home in Virginia. I was able to recover except for the paralysis in my right leg.

I wore a leg brace for about 10 years, and certainly owe the devotion of my widowed mother for the healing process.

I have written a book about her trials and triumphs entitled, Too Early for Flowers.

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My Polio Experience

Thomas Miller

As you can see from the orangish paper from the hospital, I contracted polio on July 22, 1952. I was 5 years old. I was told that a spinal tap showing milky spinal fluid was the sign. The girl across the street, a year older, was diagnosed the day before I was. Interestingly, we had the same pediatrician and were put in the same room at the hospital. She scared me badly by telling me a tale of a giant ape climbing the outside wall and coming in our window. I remember the therapy of having hot steaming wool Army blankets pressed on us.

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Polio

Ehtiram Jabi; Baku, Azerbaijan

The story of an incident I am going to narrate happened in my early childhood and left a big mark in my life. The ruthless poliomyelitis disease had caught me when I was just in the second year of my life and preluded unsteady lifetime story of mine....click to view full project.

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