Sally Larter

 

 

I contracted polio at age two. I would drag my right leg and would cry a lot. My father took me to our family doctor several times only to have my symptoms dismissed as the flu. He was becoming very frustrated and upon hearing a news bulletin on the radio describing the symptoms of polio, he turned to my mother and stated that he believed I had this disease. He again took me to our doctor and told him forthrightly that he felt I had polio and that he wanted me referred to Dr. Theodur Gencheff, a specialist just relocated from Montreal. The doctor hesitantly gave in to my father's persistence.

A short time later, I had my first of many, many appointments with Dr. Gencheff.  As I walked into his office that first day, before he even examined me, he turned to my father and said that this child has polio. I guess the rest is history.  I owe the early detection and subsequent treatment and surgeries to my father's stubborn and dogged determination to learn the reason behind my symptoms.  As a result, I feel that I faired out quite well compared to lot of other survivors that I have met.  I can proudly say I was one of the first campers at Camp Gencheff, a facility founded by Dr. Gencheff for physically handicapped children to enjoy the fun things of summer. The facility has grown over the years and encompasses an even greater number of special needs groups today.  To me, he was a great doctor who left a great legacy to Prince Edward Island.  I am eager to learn of other polio survivors' stories.

I am now 57 years of age; have had a career as a Public Civil Servant; am now retired as of September, 2000.  At that time, I "hit the wall" both physically and mentally.  I was so very tired all the time and after developing fybromyalgia (one doctor suggested Post-Polio Syndrome) among other problems, I lost my job. It was quite an adjustment for me.  However, I am now enjoying my retirement. I get lots of rest and pace myself through each day.  The more I read about Post-Polio Syndrome, the easier it is for me to accept the sudden end of my career and the reasons why it happened.


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