Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International



Nancy Hotz Caverly; Age 17; 1953; Tulsa, Oklahoma

July 9, 1953
I was playing a match in the Oklahoma Junior Girls Golf Tournament in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I won the match while walking 13 holes with severe pain in my legs and back. I was seventeen years old, just graduated from Tulsa Central High School. My family returned to Tulsa that afternoon; it was a rough trip for me, lying across my two sisters in the back seat of the car,

July 10, 1953
The journal started this day was written by my mother- for me- daily until October, when I continued writing until May, 1954. I returned home from St. John’s Hospital in September, 1953, with out-patient physical therapy until spring. I entered Washington University, St. Louis, MO in fall, 1954. My memories of the hospital time, while dulled with pain medication early on, are still easy to recall. “My polio” is part of my daily life even today. It has shaped my professional life as an occupational therapist and my daily life as a wife, mother and grandmother.

Note: Breathing tests were done with an accordion type notebook which expanded when air was blown into a tube in the case, registering the lung capacity. I was tested for 48 hours every hour; my vital capacity went down to 75%, but never lower.


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