For 77 years, Joan Deverell has wondered why her? Why did polio single her out, at the age of five months, leaving her sisters untouched? And why did she spend five years in hospital undergoing “barbaric” treatments, never again to return home?
Now almost eight decades on, she wonders why parents would not protect their children against a devastating disease that left her needing leg callipers and crutches just to move around. Especially now that traces of poliovirus have been found in wastewater in Britain, raising the prospect of a fresh wave of cases for the first time in almost 40 years.