On October 22nd, local nurse, Heather Blazko shared a moving story of the life of her mother, Judy Gibbs, who was struck down with Polio as an infant during the 1937-38 Polio Epidemic. (See the picture in the "Read more..." section) Judy was taken to hospital soon after developing polio symptoms, and did not leave hospital isolation for the next six years.
The family was told to, "Try and forget about her, and have another child". Heather reported that at least some of the hospital staff went over an beyond the call of duty to keep the family informed of Jean's progress, and Heather read a letter describing the efforts they went to to ensure Judy's first birthday was celebrated with a cake and decorations, and the family was sent the single candle as a memento. Once she came out of hospital, Jean suffered significant pain and all sorts of health complications until she passed away in her 80's just a year ago, but she never let it stop her from living a fulfilling, meaningful life. She had three children, and even though she couldn't chase after her kids, she became very adept at "firing missiles" that kept her kids in line. Because she had to sit down most of the time, she developed creative craft skills and produced many beautiful works over the years. Heather’s story reminded us just how terrible a disease Polio can be, but also that human beings can be amazingly resilient and heroic. The picture is a snap taken at the hospital with baby Judy in calipers. You can watch Heather's talk on YouTube at https://youtu.be/XKVRJrVLSwE