Richard Tyler



Richard "Ty" Tyler generously provided us with a detailed timeline of his experiences as a polio survivor. He is an active supporter of March of Dimes Canada and his Post-Polio group.

Poliomyelitis profile:

1942-1945: Worked as an aeroplane engine mechanic 16 SFTS airport, Hagersville, Ontario.

1946 Summer: Back to Hagersville to work and obtain truck mechanic license, (as a civilian) #1 vehicle company.

1946 December: Problem living on $99.00 a month. I met the Captain in charge of the motor pool and remustered to (civilian) driver. Ration run to Woolesly Barracks, London, Ontario.

1947 June: Very hot. Polio epidemic raging. Stopped at Mess Hall door (in kahki RCAF fatigues). There was a big MPp who demanded proper identification. No go. He said to go eat in a restaurant in town. This is where I picked up the polio bug.

1947 June: I was bumped off the ration truck, to driving tow vehicles - dragging stored vehicles off runways through hangar for limited storage fluids. At age 24, I got sick and couldn't raise my right foot from the gas to the break pedal on a jeep. A local M.D. in Hagersville thought it was encephalitis - brain fever.

1947 July 11: Diagnosed by Dr. Lynnburner of Hamilton, Ontario as (non paralytic) acute anterior poliomyelitis and should be in Hamilton General Hospital. I was admitted into the hospital the same day (courtesy of the Provincial Government). I was given Sister Kenny (Australian) warm water in pool treatment in the A.M. and P.M. to keep right side muscles limber while nerves recuperating.

1947 July 11: Polio confirmed by Dr. E.C. James at McGregor Clinic.

1947 August 28: Released from Hamilton General Hospital after seven weeks.

1947 Aug 28: Did occupational therapy (courtesy of March of Dimes) at Hamilton for a few months. (I hitchhiked back and forth from Hagersville).

1948 Summer:  I passed physical to work as telegrapher and (later a train dispatcher) on NYC railroad.

1951 June 20: Post polio checkup at Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario. (99% cured of polio).

1962 Aug 01: Resigned from NYC RR (after 14 years) to work at Metropolitan Life Insurance CO.

1985 June 30: Retired from Metropolitan Life (after 22 years)

1985 July 26: To California plant protection (CPP) as a security guard.

1988 July 20: To neurologist Dr. Bing W. Jeun and he sent me to University Hospital at London, Ontario for MRI - EMG - carotio artery - ultrasound. After eliminating ALS and other similar conditions, post polio syndrome confirmed.

1990 Feb. 23: Dr. Jeun advised only one shift per week.

1991 Sept. 26: Resigned from security company.

1992 Feb. 02: Started using a cane, I had limited mobility. Great improvement in back muscles.

2001 Sept. 30: From March of Dimes ($2000) Opiway 4-wheeled scooter and Bruno hoist. Installed through rear hatch of leased 2000 Ford minivan.

2003 Aug. 19: From Shoppers Home Health care 3-wheeled Go-Go scooter for use in Heartcare Windsor building.

2005 Oct. 19: 4 wheeled Go-Go scooter (much more stable) covered by insurance company. (on sale)

2006 Dec. 06: Wheelless walker with ice prongs on 2 legs for use from house to 2006 Ford mini-van.

2007 Feb. 22: Wheelless walker for use from kitchen to rest of the house.

--Richard "Ty" Tyler

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