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Religious Tolerance logo

A tribute to a father, Fred Smith, and a plea,

by his son Kenneth

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My dad was a victim of polio in 1936. He lived at warm springs until 1942 due to the ravages of polio. He is 81 years old. Yesterday is the first time he had been back. He was a farmers son and the only one in a family of 7 children who got polio. None of the doctors in Carrolton, GA had ever seen a case and did not know what to do to help him. His muscles stared drawing his arms and legs in. He was in terrible pain. One of his lungs was paralyzed and he could not breathe. His parents and twelve local doctors kept him alive until he could get to warm springs there his arms were straighten by the doctors bending them and applying Plaster of Paris cast until they straightened. His legs were broken, straightened, and put in cast.

He tells of the of how he screamed as this went on. There was a muscle transplant done on one of his legs. They took muscle from his thigh and put it under his knee cap in hopes it would help him walk again. He cries today as he talks of what he went through. He has suffered many other sorrows in this life.

He tells everyone to please give the polio vaccine to their children to spare them from what he has gone through. He loves Jesus. I know one day he will walk on streets of gold and not be bound to a wheel chair or suffer anymore. He is a poor but honest man, who made sure my brother and I got the vaccine.

Thank you.

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Originally posted: 2005-OCT-20
Latest update: 2005-OCT-20
Author: Kenneth Smith

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