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Polio victim helps others

Coffee morning organisers Mrs Monica Brameld and her son, Mark. 110817DD3-3
Coffee morning organisers Mrs Monica Brameld and her son, Mark. 110817DD3-3

A grandmother described as an inspiration because of the way she copes with the effects of polio is to hold a fundraiser on Saturday for a charity that supports her and other sufferers.

Mrs Monica Brameld, of 108 Westgate, Southwell, contracted polio when she was just 13 months old and spent the next ten years in hospital, where her mother visited her once a month.

“I don’t remember being unhappy there,” she said. “I suppose I was young and it was all I knew.”

Even when she was allowed home, Mrs Brameld continued to have regular hospital visits for operations and physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles in her legs.

The last case of polio in the UK was in 1993 but there are 120,000 people like Mrs Brameld who now live with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). It can cause weakness, fatigue and pain that affects stamina, breathing, sleeping and swallowing problems, and cold intolerance.

Mrs Brameld has always been determined not to let polio ruin her life.

She passed her 11-plus to get a place at grammar school and went on to study social science at Liverpool University before working as a social worker at Nottingham City Hospital.

After marrying her husband, the Rev Peter Brameld, she visited a doctor to ask about having children.

She was told that it could kill her but she was undeterred and had her first daughter, Sarah, now 50, who lives in Bedford.

Two years later she had a second daughter, Rebecca, who died when she was 21 months old. Mrs Brameld had her son, Mark, in 1973.

'The most positive person I have ever met'

Mark spent several years in Brazil but he is now living in Southwell.

“She is a such an inspiration and despite everything she has been through she has not let her disability be a barrier to living her life,” he said.

“She is the most positive person I have ever met.”

Mrs Brameld said her faith had always been important and had helped her to remain positive and determined.

They will hold a Brazilian coffee morning at their home on Saturday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, for the British Polio Fellowship, which supports people in the UK living with the effects of polio and PPS.

Mark will prepare freshly-made pao de queijo (cheese bread) a snack traditionally served with Brazilian coffee. There will also be vegan-friendly alternatives and cakes.

“Mark and I are very pleased to host the coffee morning,” said Mrs Brameld.

“It is a pleasure to be able to give something back to the British Polio Fellowship. Anyone in the area is very welcome to come along.”

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