8 celebrities who had polio shared their experiences from being paralyzed to burning their belongings


Polio may seem like a disease of the past, but health officials recently detected the virus in sewage in New York City and Rockland County, New York.

The disease was eradicated from the United States in 1979, decades after the first vaccine was distributed to the public. Once a dreaded disease that could cripple children, polio has disappeared from developed countries due to successful vaccination campaigns.

Today, most children receive a series of four vaccinations to prevent polio, a disease caused by the poliovirus that includes symptoms ranging from flu-like headaches to paralysis.

But many parents, including some celebrities, still remember the days before a few injections could stave off disease.

1) Frida Kahlo
The famous artist Frida Kahlo was diagnosed with polio in 1913. She was six years old at the time and had to spend several months in bed recovering from her illness.

According to the artist’s 2002 biography, “It all started with an excruciating pain down the muscle in my right leg. My little feet were soaked in a small bathtub with walnut water and a small hot her towel.” washed,” Kahlo recalls.

Although not as crippled as other polio patients, Kahlo’s right leg was noticeably shorter and thinner than her left, and ulcers had ravaged her leg over the years. However, historians believe that his leg problems may have been caused by a genetic disorder, and that the polio infection only exacerbated his condition.

2) Mia Farrow
Actress and activist Mia Farrow was diagnosed with polio when she was nine years old. His experience with the disease inspired him to work on polio vaccination campaigns around the world.

Farrow was one of her 500 who fell ill with a polio epidemic in Los Angeles in the summer of 1954. In his memoir, What Falls Away, he wrote of the Los Angeles General Hospital. You wrote that you were taken to an isolation unit and kept away from 6 people. Brothers of a few months. All their belongings were burned to prevent the spread of disease.

Farrow told the New York Post in 2000 about UNICEF‘s 2005 polio eradication campaign, “I was probably more motivated than most people.

3) Alan Alda

In an interview with AARP the Magazine, the actor recalled one day his nose was stuffy, he was throwing up and his feet were wobbly. The next day her neck was stiff and she could not get up in her bed.

He said he spent his two weeks in the hospital, wrapping his limbs in warm blankets that were “almost blistered” every hour and he was hospitalized after six months of treatment.

“It was difficult for me,” he told the magazine. It’s always better to pay someone to abuse you.”

4) Donald Sutherland
Alda’s co-star of his M*A*S*H, Donald Sutherland, also had polio as a child.

He told the Los Angeles Times that he also suffered from rheumatic fever, hepatitis, appendicitis, pneumonia and scarlet fever during his childhood.

Sutherland later told Esquire that her first word was “neck,” surprising her mother.

“My neck is killing me. It’s a symptom of polio,” he said.

5) Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell shared in 1995 that she contracted polio as a child in the early 1950s, after which her symptoms returned.

Mitchell told Star magazine, “I had polio when I was nine. My spine twisted like a train wreck. I came back for you,” he said.

It wasn’t until he was 51 that Mitchell began experiencing his second “psychedelic fatigue” and muscle weakness. Post-polio syndrome affects 25% of polio patients to 40% of them decades after the initial illness, according to the CDC.

“Like the rabbit in that drummer’s commercial. It’s me who falls, not me who goes back and forth.”

6) Neil Young
Neil Young contracted polio at the age of five and was admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1951.

The Canadian singer-songwriter has finally recovered from his illness, but with a slight limp.

He received the polio vaccine about four years after getting sick and has been an outspoken advocate of the vaccine ever since.

There is nothing new about vaccines. They have been around for a long time. Like me! Believe in science,” he wrote on the website.

7) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola contracted polio at the age of nine and was disabled for about a year and a half, the New Hollywood director and screenwriter said in 1988.

The award-winning filmmaker contracted polio in 1947 and was bedridden for a long time, he told The New York Times.

“When you have polio, nobody brings friends. I have a tape recorder, a television, etc.”

8) Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was perhaps one of the most notorious victims of polio.

The diagnosis was surprising, as most polio cases were diagnosed in infancy or childhood. According to the FDR Presidential Library, Roosevelt remembers being sick frequently as a child.

FDR began experiencing pain in his lower back after a long day sailing his yacht and quickly felt his legs go weak for a week. He soon could no longer bear the weight of it and needed a wheelchair. However, he used swimming as part of his rehabilitation and eventually learned to walk using braces and a cane.