“Most people would have heard of polio but many would not have heard of the late effects of polio.
Warrnambool’s Mary Whelan lives with post-polio syndrome and said she didn’t realise she had it until about six years ago.
“There was an article in The Standard about a group and post-polio syndrome,” she said.
Mrs Whelan said before that point she hadn’t considered she had the syndrome.
“I suppose I did have after-effects but I didn’t realise it was that,” she said.
“I was working, I just thought I was tired.”
Years after having the initial polio infection, many survivors experience a return of symptoms such as muscle weakness, or develop new symptoms such as fatigue, pain, breathing problems or issues with speech and swallowing.
Mrs Whelan had polio when she was about 4-years-old.
“I remember not being able to move from my waist down, being paralyzed,” she said.
With the help of her family and practitioners she made a full recovery and worked as a chef at the Hotel Warrnambool for 41 years and played netball in the region until she was 44.
She is now part of a post-polio syndrome group in Warrnambool.
The group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month and draws people from across the south-west region.
This week the group is hosting free community information session.
Polio Australia and Carers Victoria invite polio survivors, family members and carers to the session.
People who contracted polio overseas are also welcome.
The session will talk more about the late effects of polio, self-management strategies and how to work well with health professionals.
There will also be a discussion about resources and strategies for carers.
The session will run from 12.30pm at Macey’s Bistro in Warrnambool on Tuesday February 26.”
Thank you to The Standard Warrnambool for featuring this story.