Storyteller: Ayers, Ronda (Pollard)

Interviewer: Bertalot, Lorretta

Date: 02/22/2022

Language: English

Initiative: Tulsans Talk

Description: Ronda remembers having polio at age 7 while living in Pryor. She spent 7 weeks in Hillcrest and could only have parental visits twice a week for an hour. Ronda describes the ward, the cage-like beds for children, being wrapped in hot wool blankets, getting physical therapy once a week and the smells that she associates with the hospitalization. She visited an iron lung ward with her mother and a friend. Ronda waved at her siblings playing outside the hospital. She remembers a large fire nearby one night in September, 1952. Her parents took her home early to provide more frequent therapy. Her dad had added a new bathtub for her treatments. Her siblings did floor exercises, stretches and boxing with her for therapy. She went to Trippets' Shoe Store for ugly brown oxfords and a leg brace was attached for her right leg. Teachers brought her school work to do at home and she couldn't go to church. Vaccines were welcomed by the family several years later. Ronda considered becoming a physical therapist, but pursued a business career with IBM, American Airlines and Williams Companies before starting her own marketing business. It is possible to survive painful and unpleasant things, she said.

Subjects: Polio, Hillcrest Hospital with cribs in the hall, children's wards, and iron lung wards, Being away from home without much visitation, Physical Therapy, Wet wool for steam treatments, Mother's watch, Boxing with her brother, Dad added a new tub for her, Trippets' Shoe Store, A leg brace, Large fire near the hospital, Vaccines, Career

NOW PLAYING: Ayers, Ronda (Pollard) 02/22/2022


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