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Well, it's something that nobody will understand until they went through the same experience. Certainly an awful thing to have in front of you. The voice you have just heard is that of a mother whose child has infantile paralysis. In just a moment, you will hear other parents telling of their experiences when polio struck unexpectedly. This is Bill Ewing speaking and presenting another brief story about polio documented by tape recording through the cooperation of authorities at Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. What do parents think and feel when they first discover that their child has polio? What about the critical days that follow? What adjustments do the parents have to make in their daily living? Listen now to this story as told by those who wait.
First from a mother of four children, three of whom have polio. Well, I do know that it was in spite of everything sort of piling up at once and being terribly shocked by the fact that all three of the children had polio, we were greatly relieved to. Well, to have such a competent diagnosis and care and know that everything is being done for them here in Children's Hospital, and I imagine there was a considerable worry, in spite of all that drain and concern and uncertainty about the whole situation, that made it a pretty terrible experience for you. And that's why it's I don't know, it's a devastating feeling. I mean, you feel like you have just absolutely lost. Well, I don't know exactly. I know it's difficult.
I suppose you stayed right here at the hospital all during those first few days, is that right? That's right. I slept here at night on the diving board, I suppose. Or in a chair? Yes. Well, I think that's rather typical of most parents who have children here in critical condition. They stay right here every hour of the day and of the night. That's right. And now here is the way one father feels about it. Polio is a very feared disease. It was a great shock to us at the time after bringing my daughter to the hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and seeing the great things that medical science is doing, it gives you a feeling of self-assurance that your daughter is going to be well. And when I asked one mother what she thought about during those difficult early days, well, there's a lot going through your mind. I guess the very thing to wonder what the outcome of this will be,
but. No, wait, did she make my husband a cripple? They were very thankful to think that their life spared. The more I question parents, the more I realize that the polio patient is not the only one who suffers. I talked with the father from Steubenville, Ohio. His 18 year old daughter had just graduated from high school and had taken a job in an office on the Ohio State University campus when she was stricken with polio. He was up here in America and I think it was seven days or seven days. I think that what we were in the. And then I mean, it's just been that I know that they what happened? What were her first symptoms? You know, one of the first things I never back to my
mother that I knew that he had a girlfriend. And he told me he said she felt rotten and just sort of all over. And her fever was just like she had to up at first. And even after she worked at the university started, she just had a grip. So I guess it was on a Thursday and she went to work and she started when they took her over to the hospital. And then finally they called my wife. And of course, that was the time I wouldn't have to be away from home room. And there was a playground there with some kids and she couldn't get him. And she said, you got to go to Columbus. So I know whenever we were, we ready and I got up here by the time I get ready five o'clock with about 11 o'clock, we got in.
And it was not meant for not driving because my wife wanted to know if I could take the final test or something, and my wife and she wondered what was wrong. And so we were taking that plane and where people were and how they and she had, you know, did you ever think about much about polio before they ever did. And it's almost always a hit home, you know? No, I'm telling you, I don't know with the. I have worked for quite a while. I'm going to cover it. When I was around school. That had to mean that I'm wearing maybe it's a waiting game being after, you know, running up and down here. And then the rest of the stuff that I lost 60, 65, gee, I'm talking about 60 pounds and twenty six. You know, my it's not. And they don't know what they
were necessarily worrying about every little bit. And then if anybody ever told me, they never told me what they go through. And I don't think they could tell you, you know, it hits home when it hits home. Why? It's really, really something. I know my wife is just to my watching right now because you wouldn't do that. I have asthma until I'm. And now she just took so much. I love that she just she just kept the place. And, you know, I think that he's coming along fast enough. And I try to tell her, you have to have patience. And that's what's wrong with my wife. Do you have some something of the same feeling that I do with respect to the future of this thing? You kind of wish you could do something to get this whole business started with all the suffering that it causes. The thing you and the parents, would you like to make a comment on that? I'd love to do something that, you know, man, and not take your ship mind.
I love that. There's only one thing we could do is go out and do anything we could from the market value that I was there and I was well off with some people. Well, I know I can give it all. If I could take them all these kids wouldn't have to suffer. You know, there's only seven or eight. I them really and feel like you need money well spent. That's right. That's what I feel about it. I wouldn't care if I was working and whether to give it all away. I need a pick and shovel. See that good stuff. You know, and the way I feel about it, I know the first couple weeks that he didn't get drafted. I think I don't know what a person put it down in my career down home. I have a little bit of money, but how long will that last? And his friend say in March and merchandise then? I think there's any well, I don't think there would be anything any better. I suppose. Like all parents, you've got a letter from the foundation soon after this happened, a letter I read.
In fact, I'm going to bring it up with the name on it. I think that was the most one of the most wonderful loving you ever got at that time when I was really down in the dumps, know, because my wife said, no, I want to have soon last and how much it would cost. I said, I don't care if I take your shirt off my back if she gets out of the kitchen. Well, you go so far and I don't care. We got the house and I have a house and have it. All right. That's the way I feel about it. But money if you're sick. Yeah. Yes, it's wonderful to have a little bit of help coming along to take one more burden off your mind as I'm coming up to me and told me that Mary said no, he said just because you didn't have enough money to grab my Cadillac, I wouldn't want to give up my Cadillac. Yeah, I think it was wonderful. That's what the Lord said down there. Did the fact that Tony.
By the way, so when I got that letter, I'm telling you, I called my wife and my phone, my partner and I broke down here and I I read it and he couldn't believe I called and I said, I'm going to read about it once you came in calling us, which we do. She said that, like the well, you know, somebody will have to come home now. And they said, we don't expect to lose your house or anything, but you got to give the word just what we want you to put in here. We'll take care, which I think was wonderful. You may think your child will be well taken care of as anybody is if you had a million dollars to pay for, he said, to be taken care of. What do you let environment with the Arab Spring that they're all treated the same? They and if they're not me. So I'd like to know about.
Polio not only causes parents mental and emotional suffering, but completely upsets the normal routine of living. Many parents from out of town rent rooms near the hospital, often leaving their children in the care of relatives or friends. When I asked one mother whether polio changed her daily life, she told me it certainly changed it because I can tell from this every day and that's about 70 miles an hour. I leave home about 11:00 in the morning and I don't get back to anywhere between nine and 10 leaving. In other words, you come up to the visiting hours of to get to and then you stay through until 11 o'clock in the evening. That's right. And then you drive back to China as well that same night. That's pretty tough going during these winter days. Yes, it is. Most parents have some difficulty with financial problems when they have people that go to the hospital. And we know that polio is a pretty expensive proposition.
What you want to say anything about the financial problem in connection with your case? Well, we didn't have polio insurers or any insurance to cover this. And we talked to the foundation, certainly the chairman of that, and he said that that they would take care of what we couldn't. And that's the story I heard from parents over and over again. First, the shock of that unexpected blow and the adjustment to a new and difficult situation. Them, in most cases, hope and real encouragement for a complete recovery. And finally, a helping hand from the local chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. And through all this, one big question, run. What can we do to stop it? Our main hope is medical research, which someday, before too many years, we hope will be the answer.
This Is Polio
Episode Number
No. 4
Those Who Wait
Producing Organization
WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This is Episode Four, "Those Who Wait."
Series Description
"Four documentary programs on polio, intended to give the general public better understanding of symptoms, treatment, chances for recovery, effects upon patients, parents and the work of the polio foundation. Recorded in waiting room and polio ward at Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Patients, parents, doctors, nurses, narrator and others participate. Appropriate for use during polio campaign."--1952 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Narrator: Ewing, Bill
Producing Organization: WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-b1f96646d5e (Filename)
Format: Grooved analog disc
Generation: Transcription disc
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Chicago: “This Is Polio; No. 4; Those Who Wait,” 1952, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “This Is Polio; No. 4; Those Who Wait.” 1952. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: This Is Polio; No. 4; Those Who Wait. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from