National Post Polio conference held

A major conference on Post Polio Syndrome was held in the Tullamore Court last weekend attracting delegates from all over the country.

A major conference on Post Polio Syndrome was held in the Tullamore Court last weekend attracting delegates from all over the country.

Two of the participants were local women Bernie O’Sullivan from Geashill and well known author Geraldine O’Neill Brosnan fron Daingean.

Rathdowney sculptor, Paddy Fitzpatrick, presented a beautiful piece of his carved bog oak to Micheal O Siadhail atconference. Micheal is a very prominent and internationally regarded poet who was the keynote speaker at the Post Polio Support Group Conference on Saturday.

The theme of the conference was a Celebration of Life and Micheal was a very popular speaker and certainly started the celebration. Polio Survivors are challenged in many aspects of their daily lives. They cope through their own resolve and draw strength from the support of their families, friends and the Post Polio Support Group. Both Micheal and Paddy are a fine example to all that each can develop his or her creative talents and play a full part in community life.

The legacy of Polio from the 1940s, 50s and 60s is still with us as more than half of those who contracted this illness, mostly as young children, are now, in later life, coping with this further debilitating condition, Post Polio Syndrome. This presents challenges to Polio Survivors not just to live independent lives but to deal with many events most people just take for granted.

The Post Polio Support Group focuses on maintaining the independence and dignity of Polio Survivors supporting them at work, in the home and otherwise. The real test for the Group is to work with stakeholders in the Department of Health and Children, the Health Service Executive and health professionals, generally, to improve the quality of treatment and care available to Polio Survivors.

The Post Polio Support Group helps Polio Survivors, members, and non-members alike, by providing assistive technology, aids and appliances and services such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, respite care breaks and chiropody. It works with Polio Survivors to improve the quality of their lives and their living conditions.