Beyond Calamity - Esther's Book Details

My Journey from Disability and Disaster — to Possibility and Empowerment

From writing sums in the dirt with her finger at a poor village school in South Sudan, Esther Simbi rises above disability to become a Social Worker and Disability and Human Rights advocate in Australia.  Giving voice to the voiceless is her passion. She believes that disability is not inability, age is just a number, and ‘refugee’ is just a label. 

From polio at age four, through nineteen years in refugee camps in Uganda, Esther’s stories of life in South Sudan and as a refugee will move, shock and inspire you

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Should Polio Survivors do Exercise for Strengthening?


In January I shovelled snow and my left leg became very weak. My knee buckled twice but I caught myself before I fell. I went to my doctor and he sent me right to physical therapy. In the first session I was on the treadmill for 10 minutes, on the bike for 5 and I did straight leg raises with weights around my ankles. I barely made it home, where I fell to the kitchen floor. My legs are even weaker now and they are always burning. Don’t polio survivors need exercise to make weak muscles stronger?


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Bracing for Polio Survivors

Question: The knee on my polio leg kept bending further backward over the years. I was told to get a brace but didn't want one until I absolutely had to have it. After a while my knee hurt so much I’ve finally got a brace. But my knee bends so far back now that the brace bites into my skin and is so painful I can't wear it. Even if I could wear the brace, it is so heavy I can't lift my leg. What can I do?


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