What he did was, Richard Kinsella, he’d start telling you all about that stuff—then all of a sudden he’d start telling you about this letter his mother got from his uncle, and how his uncle got polio and all when he was forty-two years old, and how he wouldn’t let anybody come to see him in the hospital because he didn’t want anybody to see him with a brace on.
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Polio paralyzed and killed thousands of Americans a year before vaccination began in 1955.
Their leader was Maulana Fazlullah, a 28-year-old who used to operate the pulley chair to cross the Swat River and whose right leg dragged because of childhood polio.