The Grit Behind the Miracle

Overview

In 1944, the people of North Carolina faced a polio, or infantile paralysis epidemic which received attention throughout the United States. In The Grit Behind the Miracle, Alice E. Sink tells the extraordinary story of an emergency polio hospital that was built, equipped, and in operation within fifty-four hours in Hickory, North Carolina. Sink describes the role of Dr. H. C. Whims in orchestrating the building and staffing of the hospital, and profiles the doctors and nurses who worked to help the children ...

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Overview

In 1944, the people of North Carolina faced a polio, or infantile paralysis epidemic which received attention throughout the United States. In The Grit Behind the Miracle, Alice E. Sink tells the extraordinary story of an emergency polio hospital that was built, equipped, and in operation within fifty-four hours in Hickory, North Carolina. Sink describes the role of Dr. H. C. Whims in orchestrating the building and staffing of the hospital, and profiles the doctors and nurses who worked to help the children afflicted with polio. Sink has interviewed numerous survivors of the epidemic who were hospitalized at Hickory, and she shares the personal stories of many who were there as children. She also describes the move of the hospital and all its patients to Charlotte, N.C. in 1945, and the aftermath of the polio epidemic.

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Editorial Reviews

The Pilot
...a fascinating book...
Booknews
Begins with an account of a 1994 reunion of former patients, most of whom had not seen each other for some 50 years. Then traces the inception and opening of the hospital in response to the 1944 epidemic. Also presents individual patient stories and describes their move to a permanent hospital and then home. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761810865
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice E. Sink is Associate Professor of English at High Point University in High Point, N.C.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I Reunion: Polio Survivors Gather for Their First Meeting in Fifty Years
Ch. 1 News of a 50th Reunion 1
Ch. 2 A Beautiful Day 3
Ch. 3 "The Miracle of Hickory" Relived 11
Pt. II Historical Events
Ch. 1 Epidemic 23
Ch. 2 A Race Against Death 29
Ch. 3 Emergency Infantile Paralysis Hospital 39
Ch. 4 Fear and Panic 53
Ch. 5 Spirit of Service 63
Ch. 6 Regardless of Economic Status, Age, Sex, or Race 73
Ch. 7 Late Summer 77
Ch. 8 Progress to Restored Health 85
Pt. III Personal Stories
Ch. 1 Shelby and Clara Sigmon 103
Ch. 2 Eubert Sigmon 109
Ch. 3 The Dalton Sisters: Alice and Agnes 115
Ch. 4 Worth Younts 121
Ch. 5 Sarah Hunt 125
Ch. 6 Samuel Jolley 129
Ch. 7 Betty Sink 133
Ch. 8 Addie Flowers 139
Ch. 9 Robert Hudson 143
Ch. 10 Margaret Benbow 147
Ch. 11 Nurse Frances Allen Remembers the Polio Epidemic 155
Pt. IV After Hickory
Ch. 1 The Move to Charlotte 161
Ch. 2 Aftermath 181
Ch. 3 Epilogue 189
App Angels of Mercy 191
List of Patients Transferred to Charlotte 195
Poem 197
Notes 199
Index 213
About the Author 223
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