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Polio Survivor Honored for Work in Her Community

Carol ThompsonMay 3, 2013

Carol Thompson has had her share of ups and downs since surviving polio as a child, including meningitis, traumatic brain injury, vision loss, and five bouts with cancer. But she’s always met them head on, with a determination to find the best care and treatment for her condition.

She’s also reached out to other people in her community who are struggling with serious health issues, and last month she was honored for that work with the Hub City Access Christie Gutiérrez Award. Presented at the non-profit organization’s annual awards gala in Lubbock, TX, the award recognizes Carol’s efforts to help improve community access for individuals with disabilities living in the Lubbock area.

“In 2002 I founded the South Plains Post-Polio & Neuromuscular Support Network,” she explains. “The support is usually by phone or email because polio survivors and others with neuromuscular diseases have to ‘conserve to preserve,’ and accessible transportation is minimal in Texas.” By networking by phone or online, members have the chance to learn from one another about the best ways to prevent common problems and share resources that have worked for them.

Carol also makes herself available to speak to groups, noting that Texas Blind Services has “helped me in that regard to bring support to people with vision impairment in our counties and rural areas.”

She gets involved in legislative efforts as well. “There is a great deal of education that has to be delivered to legislators and financial health planners, because they do not fully understand respiratory conditions,” she says. “Support is critical for people trying to remain healthy, lead independent lives, and contribute to society.”

© 2018 American Association for Respiratory Care