My Polio Story - Ron Blackwell

I contracted the Paralytic Polio at the age of 9 and I led a fairly regular sort of existence once I got back into mainstream after being in hospital and enjoyed pretty decent health. By the time I was in my 40s started to experience difficulties which resulted in depression – stemmed from frustration not being able to do what you think you should be able to do.

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Polio then and now

A passage in Philip Roth’s novel Nemesis describes the horror of catching polio in the US town of Newark in 1944, when outbreaks of the disease were common and each summer was spent in fear of infection.

“Finally the cataclysm began – the monstrous headache, the enfeebling exhaustion, the severe nausea, the raging fever, the unbearable muscle ache, followed in another forty-eight hours by the paralysis”, it says. 

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