‘I was born with a limp’: Woman who says she was born paralyzed with polio says she’s had a ‘good life’
With her husband in Australia, the former schoolteacher says she can’t even imagine living without polio for the past 15 years.
‘I would have to be in a wheelchair,’ said Sarah-Jane Breen, who says her paralysis has left her ‘disgusted’ and ‘very depressed.’
Sarah-Kate Breen in Melbourne, who was born in 1957.
She says she has not seen a doctor since she was about eight years old.
(CBC) Sarah- Kate Breen says her life was turned upside down by the disease and the stigma attached to it.’
I was never given the choice to live or not live,’ said Breen.
‘It took my dad, my mother, my brothers and me all our lives to have the chance to live.’
Sarah Breen (left) with her husband and daughter.
Sarah-Jo Breen is a retired teacher from Western Australia who was diagnosed with polio at the age of eight.
She has had a difficult time adjusting to life without the debilitating disease, but says she is grateful for the support she has received from friends and family.
(Facebook) Breen’s parents, John and Jane, had to move back to Perth, in Western Australia, and she has had to adjust to living with a wheelchair since then.
She said that even when she was able to move around the house, she found it difficult to get around the home.
Sarah Brews dad John Breen was born on June 10, 1957.
He died in January 2019.
Sarah’s mother Jane Breen has not had any medical treatments since her diagnosis.
(Twitter) ‘My mother has been the main support and I’m grateful to her and to the family for that,’ said the 45-year-old teacher, who now lives in Melbourne.
‘My husband has been supportive and my children have been supportive.
I feel very fortunate.
‘The doctors say I can walk but I have to take them to the doctor for a scan to make sure I can continue to walk, but they say I don’t need to because I’m in a stable condition.’
Breen said that she was often unable to make friends with people because she was ‘the centre of attention’ in her day-to-day life.
‘When I was at school I had friends and they would call me, ‘I love you’ and then they wouldn’t call me again for days or weeks,’ she said.
Breen also said she found she had trouble maintaining friendships and being able to talk about anything else.
‘In my day- to-day routine, I don ‘t have a great relationship with other people,’ she explained.
‘Sometimes people think I’m being shy, and they might say, ‘Oh you’re not very open.
Are you shy?’
I can’t really explain it to them, because I have had to explain to them what I am doing, but it’s difficult to explain.’
Breezes best friend and fellow teacher Laura Smith has also struggled with the condition.
She described her friend as ‘a very happy, outgoing person, very funny and quite open, and very loving and supportive of all my kids.’
Smith said she was diagnosed when she graduated from high school.
She moved to Australia to start her career as a nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was diagnosed at the end of her first year there in 2013.
(Smith is pictured) ‘I started my journey and it was the hardest, but I’ve always felt like I had the best time, because my mum and dad supported me,’ said Smith.
‘So it’s not like I’ve been given a choice, I just felt like there was a chance to be better.’
Smith’s best friend Laura Smith said it was difficult to adjust in Australia.
(Radio National) Smith said that although she was always able to interact with people, her best friend in Australia and Australia was her bestie, Laura Smith.
She and her besties also moved to Sydney to start their careers.
‘We were able to go to school together and work together and it made me realise that I am able to do anything I want to do and I have the best friends I could possibly want,’ said Laura Smith, who is now a teaching assistant at the Australian Women’s Centre in Melbourne and is married to the man she met through the ABC.
(Sarah Smith) Smith, 42, said that despite her difficulties, she still feels like she has a ‘great life’ and is grateful to be able to share her stories.
‘If I wasn’t going to do this, I would be dead by now,’ she added.
‘You never know what is going to happen.
It’s just the way it is.’
In the United States, the American Academy of Neurology has estimated that one in three people with polio will have an outcome that