K is for Kosair

If the word “Kosair” is new to you, you aren’t from around here. Kosair Children’s Hospital is a magical mantra that brings reassurance and hope to anyone in the Kentuckiana area who loves or has loved a sick child.

When I was a kid, there was an epidemic of polio (poliomyelitis) — a viral infection that causes paralysis in up to 2% of cases. Most people who get the virus don’t even know they’ve had it. Apparently, I was one of those. The daughter of a friend of my mother’s wasn’t so lucky. I remember going to Kosair to visit the child in an iron lung. Imagine seeing the little curl-topped head of your friend sticking out of one of these.

Polio was everywhere. We were all terrified of it. The only thing that gave us any sense of safety was Kosair. They not only had the best pediatric specialists, they were famous for treating their patients as people. As child people. As people who mattered.

Here’s a site about the American polio epidemics. Please click through and read the intense and beautiful poem about air.

Even today, when polio and iron lungs are pretty much things of the past, any news of an ill or injured child that’s followed by the words, “They took him to Kosair,” causes everyone who hears it to breathe a little easier.

Kosair is still there, with multiple locations and increasing outreach, active not just in hospitalization and treatment but also in health and safety education and child advocacy. Here’s a link to their Ways To Help page, with links to their free magazine on child health and safety, Cartwheels. Please click through and see what they offer for any child anywhere and what you can do to help.

WRITING PROMPT: A character is apparently immune to an epidemic that is raging around him or her.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “K is for Kosair

  1. Jane

    April 12, 2012 at 8:20am

    You are so right, MA. My bro the science guy once pointed out to me that in the child oriented hospital, they actually have child-sized instruments. This is particularly useful during emergency procedures, as adult sized gear is just huge for the little child critters.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 12, 2012 at 8:31am

      I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me. 🙂

      See you at Vint!


  2. Damyanti

    April 12, 2012 at 9:15pm

    That sounds like a wonderful hospital.

    Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
    –Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 13, 2012 at 7:36am

      I am enjoying it, but I can’t keep up with reading other blogs! Too much going on this year. 🙁 I’ve found a few lovely, wonderful blogs/bloggers, and it’s driving me nuts, knowing how many I’m missing!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. As always, I adore your stories!


  3. Sarah Reece

    April 20, 2012 at 2:50pm

    It can be so terrifying to see your loved one in such a condition, lying in an iron lung. These days though, they more use ventilators for patients needing artificial respiration, that are far less appalling.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 20, 2012 at 3:14pm

      Sarah, you’re right — iron lungs aren’t used much anymore, especially in America, where respirators and ventilators do the job. Kosair still has one, just to show people who don’t remember. They were pretty scary-looking, but they were life-savers!


Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.