Polio Australia is collecting stories from polio survivors, their families and carers to preserve our mutual history. Otherwise how will the generations to come know what it was like to contract polio before vaccines became available? Please take the time to browse our Australian stories.
We encourage you to add your own story to the growing collection and to visit this page often as its contents expand over time. Stories can be emailed or posted to us (our contact details) and are welcome in any format – hand-written, typed, audio recordings, photographs, movies, videos and more are all most welcome. Originals can be returned.
I was age 23, when, on the 20th February 1942, I awoke with a nasty dose of the flu. Next morning I couldn't move from the waist down. My GP agreed I had "Poliomyelitis". I had to go
to the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Shenton Park. I was put in a room by myself - a group of masked nurses were appointed to look after me - and no visitors. It was a nightmare. After some "pleading" my mother was allowed to see me for an hour each day, but not touch me. That visit
kept me alive, gave me the will to live. Read more . . .
John Cosgrove - My Polio Journey
It had all started that Monday morning, John having woken feeling a bit seedy after playing in a tennis tournament the previous day. Unwell, he lay in bed for ten minutes trying to figure what he would teach each of his eight High School classes that day, what homework he had set and what books he needed to take with him to school. Finally, he stepped out of bed and, to his astonishment, both knees shot out in front of him and he crashed to the ground. Because his roommate had left earlier for work John had to painfully and awkwardly lever himself back to a supine position on the bed. Utter confusion followed, he had no idea of what was happening to him. His legs would not work! Read more . . .