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  • Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Event Of My Polio

Sometime in July of 1947 a very life-changing event took place in my own little life. Many people have asked me to write about it. I was only two years old, so I cannot write from my personal experience, since I do not remember anything of this event. The details I will relate are taken from conversations with my family in later years of my life.

My mother told me that I was quite a "tease" when I was small. She said that on that eventful morning she called me down from upstairs to eat breakfast, but I told her that I could not walk. She thought that I was teasing her, so she sent my oldest brother, Vernon, to get me and bring me down to breakfast. When Vernon came to get me, he found that I really could not walk.

As a result, my mother walked me around the house as she held me up. She thought that was the thing to do. No one knew what the problem was. When I was taken to the doctor, one doctor sent me to another until I had gone to five different doctors. The fifth doctor told my parents that he did not know what the problem was but that they should take me to the hospital. They then took me to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati. The doctors at the hospital immediately knew what the problem was. 1947 was a year for an epidemic of Polio.

I was admitted to Children's Hospital for a while--I do not know how long. Then I was transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington, Kentucky, because I was a native of Kentucky. I stayed in the hospital for about nine months. My mother told me that they allowed me to come home for Christmas. When I got home, I asked when these children were going to go home. I had forgotten that I had brothers and sisters. Fortunately, I know them pretty well now.

The doctors thought I would not walk but would be in a wheelchair all my life; but, just in case, they gave me a pair of crutches and braces. It was not long until I was using them and walking around all over the place.

One thing that I will say in conclusion is that I am thankful that the doctor who sent me home told my parents not to treat me in any special way but to allow me to do whatever I could and to put me in public school. They did, and God has blessed through the years. Here I am 71 years old, and I am due to have new braces made. I hope to receive them on June 16, 2016. God has been so good to me that I cannot thank and praise Him too much.

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