Former Honolulu councilmember Leigh Wai Doo reflects on life with polio
Former Honolulu councilmember and attorney Leigh Wai Doo contracted polio at 9 months old in Hawaiʻi — the only one of six siblings to be afflicted. He used braces and arm crutches throughout his professional life and in political service. But a bout of post-polio syndrome affected his upper body strength. Today, he uses a motorized scooter and says he is a bit fearful of the return of polio.
The longtime Palolo resident is celebrating his grandchild’s first birthday this week. His grandson lives in London where earlier this year they discovered the polio virus in wastewater. Health officials in Great Britain are urging children be vaccinated for the disease — for which there is no cure.
Speaking to The Conversation, Leigh Wai Doo reflected on his life with polio and uncertainty with this resurgence of cases.
This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 29, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.