Our older generation often have interesting backgrounds and tales of work, travel or even adventures or do you want to share with us something of June’s background ?
June would talk openly about her difficult start to life and fascinated many with her story. June described being physically disabled since 7 yrs old when she contracted TB in her hip. She describes this as following a fall when playing out. This went undiagnosed for a year at which point her whole hip joint had disintegrated. June told family about the pioneering surgery she had, taking bone from her leg to build bone in her hip area to support her. This was not a joint and June had no flexibility. June could not ‘sit up’ and always described herself as being like ‘a stick of rock’. Because of the amount of time spent incapacitated and immobilized as a child June’s spine collapsed and at a young age she had a rod inserted into her spine.
Surgery as a child meant she has one leg shorter and has needed to always wear a built-up shoe. From age 7 yrs, for the rest of her childhood June lived in Kirby Moorside Hospital where she underwent many years of surgery. June talks about the ward being an open ward and waking some mornings with snow on the end of her bed. June talks about being put on a ‘wrack’ and being immobilized for long periods of time; weeks/months at a time. June rarely saw her family once in Kirby Moorside as her parents couldn’t afford the bus fare to visit her. June talked sadly of a missed childhood and of missing her family. June had some interesting stories of staff who cared for her as a child, some nice and some not so nice. June returned to live with her parents at age 17 yrs at which time she met some of her younger 7 brothers and sisters for the first time.
June went on to get a secretary job which she loved and held for approx. 18 months, at which point, after undergoing more surgery, her doctor told her that she needed to stop as it was detrimental to her health; June went on to have many more surgeries in her adult life. June was told she was unlikely to marry or have children, however, she met her husband and married and had 3 sons.
June has always been able to walk around her house with crutches but has always needed a wheelchair outside of the house. June talked about being an advocate for those with physical disabilities and was proud to have being part of lobbying for and one of the influencers who pushed for disability rights and motability cars. June was heavily involved in charity and ran a PHAB group (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied) June learned to drive with an adapted car. June talked much about been institutionalized as a child and was always keen to ‘get out of the house’; she couldn’t bare not being able to leave the house. June was always fiercely independent.
When she was able, one of June’s favourite pastimes was to go for a run in the car. She loved wildlife and wild flowers. One of her most favourite time of the year is spring when the blue bells would appear.