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Mail To The Toomeyville Jr. Gazette
I have taken the liberty to call you Sue because I too, am a member of the group "a race apart." I have tagged this group as a fraternity, but at any rate, we are one of the same. I read the article in a magazine about you and just thought I would write to let you know if there is anything I can add from this part of the country, I would love to do so.
I joined the group a little over two years ago and I think I am pretty substantial. I don't mean this in a discouraged manner, but my involvement is such that I probably will remain a member for some time. I am for all practical purposes, a quad. I say this because I have partial use of my legs, enough for transferring from wheel chair to bed or car. I haven't the use of my hands or arms and very limited breathingwise. I too, was in the iron lung for several months but enough breathing has come back to allow me to be away from any aid except at night when I use a shell for sleeping. I might add, this letter is being typed by the use of a mouthstick on an electric typewriter.
The onset of my illness was first spent at a Veterans hospital and later I was transferred to the Southwestern Respirator Center in Houston, Texas, where I spent nine months before being released almost a year ago. I now live at home with my wife and go back to Houston every few months for routine checkups. I'm sure I needn't tell you of life at a polio center, but again if there is anything I can add to the TOOMEYVILLE JR. GAZETTE, please let me know.
I am writing this letter in interest of your work and would like very much to hear from you and know more about the details of it. I stand both as a subscriber and any help I can be. I don't mean to be so formal, I also want to be a friend of your race. Write when you can.
Thank you very much for putting me on the mailing list for the Toomeyville Jr. Gazette. The August issue just arrived and is being reread by us all. Already we are anticipating eagerly the next issues. Your idea is ingenious and should provide an interchange of ideas that prove a wellspring of solutions to our problems. Good luck and many thanks.
I am a post-polio patient now living at home and a "graduate" of the Respiratory Center at Rancho Los Amigos, Downey, Calif.
I have very much enjoyed the one issue of the TOOMEYVILLE GAZETTE which I have seen. I wish you would add me to your mailing list so that I could receive it regularly.
Will you let an old pro join your ranks? I'm very much interested in your paper.
My polio was twelve years ago, iron lung, total paralysis and all that business. 'Taint funny, is it? Now I'm sitting up all day -- by virtue of being tightly laced into an old-fashioned corset -- and do bookkeeping etc. as you can see by my letterhead. I have part of one hand and arm and that's about it. There are few scattered muscles in my legs but they don't amount to much. I was 22 when the miserable stuff struck -- I'm 34 now. I'm married and have a fifteen year old son. (My typing isn't anything to brag about)
What are you doing in that picture in the Paraplegia News? I've peered and peered at it but I can't figure it out. It looks almost like some type of electric pen or something. By George -- I'll bet I just figured it out. Is that gismal a remote control for the type-writer?
When you feel able I'd very much like to hear from you. It's only this summer that I've known about the Paraplegia news and I've enjoyed it so much.
I was introduced to polio at 13, when my sister, who was 11, was stricken in Chicago in 1943. Little did I know that 9 years, 3000 miles 5 years of marriage, 2 children later that the same polio bug would bit me.
We were living in San Francisco, 1952, having moved from Louisville, Ky. the year before. After receiving the famous polio bit, I was admitted to the hospital in San Francisco where I spent six weeks, then I was flown back to Louisville to spend 3 more months in the hospital before being released. So after 6 years (other than having arms and shoulders like Atlas and legs like string beans) I have graduated to one long leg brace on the right leg, two operations on the left leg, peronial transplant to anterior tibia (makes foot go up and in) and hamstring quadricep transplant (to take place of the knee).
I keep house mostly sitting down in my stripped down "hot rod" (no foot pedals) chasing two boys, 10 and 7 years old and a tom-girl 4 (here in Louisville, a baby after polio entitles you to a life membership in the "Polio Mothers Club"). We built a house in 1954 with all polio conveniences, ramps in front and back that look like part of the house, windows that slide back and forth, extra wide doorways, bath tub built up a foot and tiled to make it easier to bath the children, double banisters to the basement so I can swing down on my arms, saves steps!! I go shopping, work for PTA, and just about everything a normal housewife would do.