A Special Insight into the Tragedy That was Polio

Dennis P. Anderson

This review is from: When Polio Came Home: How Ordinary People Overcame Extraordinary Challenges (Paperback)

Congratulations to Connie Anderson for creating a meaningful and educational look into the polio epidemic. I was one of the lucky ones in Minneapolis in the early 1950s as a kid who escaped what made so many suffer from and even die by the thousands. I also grew up a couple of blocks away from places described in the book called “Michael Dowling School” and “Sheltering Arms.” I never knew what went on inside these schools until I read the accounts in “When Police Comes Home” this week.

You will learn a great deal about polio and coping. For example, I was not aware of the Post-Police Syndrome. Nor had I read any first-hand accounts of what it was like to be told, “you have polio” and be swept away to a strange hospital filled with strangers in white coats or be inside an iron lung. The survivors and next-of-kin who contributed to this wonderful book have the ability to explain their sense of loss or shame or denial, and definitely their commitment to overcome in special ways. The theme of enduring despite adversity comes across loud and clear.

The book’s accounts, from survivors who were polio victims at a wide range of ages, are presented in random order (good choice). All contribute pieces to understanding the demon puzzle that was called polio. I hope this book becomes mandated in nursing schools and hospital administration programs. It is a book that also deserves high visibility with individuals who are suffering and need to hear, “I made it. You can make it, too” from people who came back from hell. Those survivors and their family members who took the time to tell their stories in such a personal and hard-hitting way, have that thought as their legacy. God bless them.

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Polio Came Home Book Launch Pictures

On December 16, 2013, many of the authors featured in When Polio Came Home:  How Ordinary People Overcame Extraordinary Challenges came to Bloomington, Minnesota to celebrate.

They enjoyed meeting each other and hear the other storytellers’ stories.  It was a great day.

Following are several collages of pictures of the people who could come.  Click on these links to view the photos:

Candid Shots

More candids

New Ulm

Panorama and individuals

Picture board-r

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Both heartwarming and heartbreaking

“Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, When Polio Came Home:  How Ordinary People Overcame Extraordinary Challenges, is a fascinating compilation of stories from the families most affected by this pernicious and destructive disease.  These inspiring stories will melt the hearts of even the most unwavering grinch. Although the individual stories are unique, they share a common bond; each family suffering the fear, anguish and ruthlessness of polio, and each family rising, in what can only be described as heroic ways, to meet the challenges they faced—and continue to face.

Stories collected and edited by Connie Anderson, this important book brings to light the sad but, little-known side effect of polio—post-polio syndrome, affecting as many as 250,00 people all over the globe. Decades after the original onset, post-polio syndrome reappears with its myriad symptoms causing even more devastation and debilitation for those who already suffer from its original attack.

Today, when many parents see vaccinations as optional or even damaging, the author has done us a great service. This book is a call-to-arms, reminding us although we won the battle—but the war may not be over.”

– Diane Keyes, author of Spirit of the Snowpeople and the award-winning This Sold House

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When Polio Came Home Book Launch

When Polio Came Home Book LaunchA panoramic view of those who attended the book launch for the 41 people whose story make up the book.

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