Polio survivor shares her journey with Rotary Club

Cleveland Rotary President Tasha Childress (left) welcomes polio survivor Zelda Angel at the Oct. 24 club luncheon.

On World Polio Day, Oct. 24, Zelda Angel, Cleveland polio survivor, spoke to the Rotary Club of Cleveland and told of her journey as a polio survivor.   When Zelda was just 2 weeks old, she began to cry constantly and had a fever; another baby born about the same time had a fever, too.

Doctors just thought it was nothing to be concerned about, although she was unable to use her right arm. Someone recommended that her mother take her to Shriners Hospital and doctors there diagnosed her as having polio and recommended exercise for her arm and legs. She was given a bicycle.

As she could not use her right arm, she learned to write with her left hand.  She wanted to do things that normal folks did; she learned to drive when she was older and told her mother, “I need a husband!”  Her mother responded, “No!  You can’t have babies or change a diaper.”

Going against her mother’s admonishments, Zelda did marry and had two girls (she now has five grandchildren).  Her first husband died years ago.

Zelda worked for Texas Home Health for 25 years, washing dishes, clothes, etc., for people that needed assistance in taking care of themselves.  Through her work she met a man who would later be her husband.  She has been a widow now for four years.

She has lots of people around her that love her. In March, she went on a ladies retreat to the Ozarks and enjoyed it very much and plans to make more trips.

Zelda, 69, says that she can now open her mouth to speak about anything, without fear, because God has filled her.

“I have learned how to do things my way and I am standing and walking,” she said to the Rotary Club members.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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