Remembering Polio

Penny Hayes

I was age 3, living in New Jersey, when I developed polio. It was 1953, before the vaccines. I was fortunate that I suffered a mild case and wasn’t paralyzed. I still recall how painful my arms and legs were. My good doctors somehow treated me. Lots of rest. I recovered.

Now as an adult I suffer from post-polio syndrome. It causes weakness and the death of neurons. Over time it could cause the inability to walk. But for now, I’m doing well in that regard.

It’s a good reminder to the anti-vaccine community that some, now preventable diseases can have long-term residual effects even if you survive.

I wouldn’t take that chance with my child. Polio and other childhood diseases can be deadly and life changing, even for an adult. So, get your child vaccinated. It’s well worth it. Just ask those who were in iron lungs and other effects from diseases we can prevent.


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