Photo By: Mel Fechter

Mentoring Mankind with Memories and Musings

Jun 23,   Spring and Summer in Shangri La
Mar 20,   Adventures in Cyber Dating
Mar 13,   Stories of WWII are Fading Fast
Feb 22,   Canst Thou Protest Too Much?
Jan 26,   New Medical Paradigm On Horizon
Jan 16,   COLLEGE DAZE Is On the Horizon
Jan 10,   My Book Is On Its Way to Publication
Dec 18,   Red Letter Days Mark Milestones
Dec 17,   Today Was a Red Letter Day
Dec 1,   the 2nd Year of My Voyage is Over
Nov 20,   I Find Family and Friends at Hallmark
Nov 5,   My Book From the Male Viewpoint
Oct 12,   Music & Movies Mark My Milestones
Sep 18,   My New Life Appears on the Horizon
Aug 23,   Life is a Pathway with Many Forks
Aug 21,   The Importance of Doing My Best
Aug 4,   Life Imitates Hello Myrmidon
Aug 1,   Writing a Book Has Changed My Life
Jun 13,   Plants are Amazing Creatures
May 25,   Will You Accept My Apology?
May 1,   A Journal is a Window on Your Life
Apr 30,   A Road Trip to Shangri La
Apr 25,   Movies as Matchmakers
Apr 23,   Me at Seventy-Three!!!
Apr 19,   Make Time for Your Friends
Apr 9,   a snipit from HELLO MYRMIDON
Apr 1,   What Price Glory, Sweat, Tears
Mar 30,   To Retrieve or Not Retrieve
Mar 29,   Discourse on Decisions
Mar 25,   Memory Retrieval
Mar 24,   I Join the World Community
Mar 22,   Website Lessons
Mar 3,   My Miracles, Part 2
Mar 2,   My Miracles, Part 1
Feb 9,   Phones of Old, Part 2
Feb 8,   Phones of Old, Part 1
Feb 7,   Twitterpated!!!
Jan 25,   Jacob and Esau, Part 2
Jan 24,   Jacob and Esau, Part 1
Jan 10,   A New Goal?
Jan 9,   My Earliest Memories
Dec 31,   2016: Successes and Failures
Dec 30,   2016: My Self-Discovery
Dec 28,   I Finally Hear My Angels
Dec 27,   Angels and Me
Dec 26,   Angels Inspire Me
Dec 24,   the Littlest Angel
Dec 23,   Story of My Name Part 3
Dec 22,   Story of My Name Part 2
Dec 21,   Story of My Name Part 1
Dec 19,   Prior Challenges Part 2
Dec 17,   Prior Challenges Part 1
Dec 16,   My Website Challenge
Dec 15,   Astrological Review of 2016
Dec 14,   North Coast Winter
Dec 13,   an Angelic Intervention
Dec 12,   Birth of HELLO MYRMIDON
Dec 11,   Christmas Lights Fade
Dec 10,   Christmas Art Project
Dec 9,   Finding a Perfect Tree
Dec 7,   Christmas with KW
Dec 6,   Christmas around the World
Dec 4,   Mom’s Story Part 2
Dec 3,   Mom’s Christmas Story Part 1
Dec 2,   Ghosts of Christmas Past
Dec 1,   My First Blog

Guest Blogs

Mar 24,   SusanDay on Being a Grandparent

14th Apr Can One Make a Difference?

On this beautiful Good Friday morning my angels chose to awaken me with thoughts of how people can make a difference if they persevere in their beliefs and choose to make the necessary sacrifices. In their own small way, my parents did just that by following the teachings of Sister Kenny, a nurse from Australia who had sacrificed much and continually persevered against the medical establishment to bring her successful treatment methods for polio to the whole world. This train of thought apparently floated across my mind today because last night I watched the classic 1946 movie about her life.

In a previous entry to this blog I have mentioned the story my mom shared about how she came to know and use the methods of Sister Kenny during her brief time in the US Army during WWII. So I was really excited when the movie arrived at the part where Sister Kenny came to the US. I knew her treatments were controversial, and not well accepted by the medical establishment in her home country, but I did not realize that she had also been met with rejection here in all of our major urban centers. But she kept going, and eventually arrived at the Mayo Clinic in MN. From there she was embraced by the U of Minnesota.

She had to prove herself and her methods there too, but at least she was allowed to treat an acute case of polio to demonstrate the success of her treatments. It was followed and documented by their experts in the field of orthopedics as ground-breaking, and by 1943 the word was beginning to spread. That happened to be the year that my mom served in the Army Nurse Corps at Letterman General Hospital, on the Presidio in San Francisco.

And my father just happened to be a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. He was there from the 30’s until 1942, so in all probability he learned about her treatments as a part of his studies, and may even have met her personally. How cool is that! But the coolest part is that he married my mom in 1943 right after they both joined the army, and no doubt he discussed with her this exciting new treatment method that had been espoused by his alma mater. So while my dad went off to Italy to care for soldiers in WWII, Mom stayed on the home front, nursing soldiers at Letterman. Most, of course, were injuries from the war in the Pacific. But a few were ill, such as those with polio.

Mom could have concentrated on the many, and left the polio cases to be treated by traditional methods. No one could or would have criticized her for that. But because she had learned about this new treatment from my dad, she could not in good conscience turn her back on these few men. So she asked for a small ward for them, and several enlisted men as helpers. The hospital Commander was skeptical of this new treatment that went against everything he had ever been taught. However, he respected her opinion because she had already shown her ability to reform their central supply methods at Letterman, so he granted her request.

She cared about each and every soldier in her ward, and she fondly referred to them as “her boys”, even as she recalled the story in her 90’s. To give them the best care possible, she made sure the Kenny methods were followed exactly. Among other things this involved much intensive hands on treatment, such as placing hot packs on the muscles of the boys every eight hours around the clock. Affectionately dubbed “Harriet’s angels”, her helpers were always there for her, even when she was not on duty. They eagerly did everything she expected, and became very protective of her, making sure that everyone-patients, staff, and visitors alike-treated her with the utmost care and respect.

All of her “boys” recovered from their acute condition adequately enough to be transferred to rehab facilities, where they apparently were eventually discharged with few, if any, ill effects from the polio. When the day came that she was forced to leave the army due to pregnancy (i.e. me) everyone was very sad to see her go. However, thanks to her, they could continue after she was gone to use the Kenny treatment method for as long as it was needed.

So my parents, in their own small ways, were able to change lives due to the ripple effect from all the determination, perseverance, and sacrifice of Sister Kenny. I feel that the contents of my book, while small and insignificant in the whole scheme of things, could have the ability to enrich a few people’s lives. So, armed with the example of all these people, I will continue to work at overcoming the many road blocks and lackluster public response in my quest to get Hello Myrmidon into the hands of those who can benefit from its wisdom.

 


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