Evelyn Wainwright was born and raised in the southside of Cork city. Evelyn's first home was her grandparent's house on Douglas Street before moving to the newly built corporation development of Ballyphehane. At three years of age, Evelyn contracted polio while on a day trip to Youghal. Evelyn spent the next two years in Cappagh hospital in Co. Dublin. Until the polio epidemic of 1956, Evelyn had to spend lengthy stays away from home in Dublin. The silver lining of an epidemic breaking out in Cork city was that Evelyn no longer had to go to Dublin for treatment. In this excerpt, Evelyn talks of her various stays in the hospital.
Edward ‘Ted’ Tanner, a native of Bandon Co Cork, contracted polio at eight years of age. He had fallen from a tree and hurt his back. The local doctor didn’t see anything wrong with the child. Ted’s mother got a second opinion. The diagnosis was polio. Cork, at this time, was at the beginning of a major polio outbreak. Over the next few years, Ted would have to spend months in the hospital. During this time he did not get to see his family. At first, these lengthy absences had a negative effect on the young boy. But as Ted grew up his visits to the hospital became more positive. In this excerpt, Ted expresses the comradery the older boys had in St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital, Gurranabraher, Cork.