Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International


Selma Harrison Letter to her Grandmother

Selma Harrison (Calmes); 1948, age 8; Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Long Beach, California

I found this letter recently. Like so many post-polio patients, I'd deeply buried memories of polio. When I saw the last sentence - "I can stand up now and walke (sp)" - a rush of memories came back.

I was eight years old when I got polio in August, 1948. In the first hospital, I tried to run away. I promptly crashed to the floor because I couldn't walk-what a shock for a wild kid that loved to run and play all day long. After two weeks, I was transferred to a hospital near our home, where this letter was written. Now there were other kids, and my mother could visit and bring me things to do. Therapy started there also. This letter about life at the hospital and beginning recovery helped me realize how bad that case of polio was and why I'm having so much trouble today.


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