Although he lived with numerous health issues, including being paralyzed from the waist down, Franklin D. Roosevelt is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in United States history. EZ-ACCESS wants to share his story as inspiration for the millions of Americans with limited mobility.
Despite his medical issues, Roosevelt changed social policies in America and helped conceive the idea for world’s largest peace keeping organization – the United Nations. Roosevelt is most commonly remembered for the New Deal, a set of social programs created to aid the American public during the time of the Great Depression.
But in 1921, long before his presidency, Roosevelt contracted what was then believed to be polio. This paralyzed him from the waist down. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, believed that Roosevelt’s polio was “a turning point” that “proved a blessing in disguise; for it gave him strength and courage he had not had before.” His polio diagnosis has been heavily debated. Many believe that he actually had Guillain Barre Syndrome, a disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks part of the nervous system.
Roosevelt did not want to accept paralysis and live his life in a wheelchair so he underwent treatment with many different therapies. He even taught himself to walk for short distances. Analysts believe he also may have had hypertension, anemia and melanoma.
Roosevelt hid many of his health ailments from the American public, believing that his issues would make him appear weak. He rarely allowed himself to be photographed in his wheelchair and went to great lengths to hide his health problems in order to keep the American people from worrying about their nation’s leader. The nation was shocked when Roosevelt died unexpectedly on April 12, 1945, less than six months after being elected to a fourth term in office.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was a leader who overcame adversities and struggles to become someone who analysts and historians consider to be one of the most influential presidents in American history. He is an inspiration to all of us! The technology and capabilities of wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps have changed a lot since Roosevelt was in office. If you need assistance finding the right equipment to lead an active life, contact EZ-ACCESS. We have ramps that will keep you on the go!