A Polio Story

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Deborah was completely paralyzed on her right side at age five. There was no hospital in her town, so her parents were told to take her to a hospital 100 miles away. After a spinal tap confirmed Deb had polio, her parents had to leave their frightened, paralyzed little girl with strangers and were told they could only see her on weekends. For the first four weeks (while she was quarantined) they drove 200 miles round trip so they could wave to her through a window from the parking lot. Once she was out of quarantine, they made the same weekly drive for five more months, to visit their permanently paralyzed little girl. Over the course of her life, Deb has become a passionate advocate for polio survivors, even as she experiences post-polio syndrome. Read her full story on the PA Polio Survivor’s Network website.