Our mum, Susan Gregory-Poke, contracted polio in the summer of 1950/51 and spent the next year of her life in hospital. She was unfortunate to be a victim of the last great global polio epidemic before the IPV was introduced in ‘56.
At 13, she had more major surgeries to help with mobility. As a result, most of her bones were broken, a steel pin was inserted in her hip, and she spent six months in a cast from feet to armpits.
After a two-year stint in hospital, and despite being eligible for disability support, she started work at 15 years old.
Apart from two short breaks to mother us, she worked until age 66 when our Dad passed away. Until starting the government age pension at 66, she never received any government assistance despite her disability.
In 1982, she played an integral role in the introduction of disabled parking in Sydney, (which was later introduced across the country) helping to lobby a local MP and bring public attention to the cause.
Now aged 68, she has post-polio syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair. She can’t manage public transport (not that there is much public transport in a small country town) so she has to rely on her car to go to medical appointments, church, shopping, etc and just keeping in touch with her community.
Last June, she had major orthopaedic surgery and we’re still paying off associated medical expenses. While her friends are incredibly helpful, she can’t always get transport with them as she’s only able to get in and out of very specific cars due to her fused hip.
Her car is dying and she desperately needs to trade it for something suitable and reliable.
We think she needs about $10,000 to be able to get a reliable and accessible second-hand car. Our mum is a wonderful lady who’s been dealt a difficult hand in life. Please help us make her life just a little bit easier.
- Debra Whelan
- simeon brennan
- Beth & James Liddall
- Jose greg White
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