Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness
began in 1921 at age 39, when Roosevelt
got a fever after exercising heavily at a vacation in Canada. While his illness was well known during his terms as President of the United States
, how debilitated he was due to his illness was kept from public view. After his death, his illness and paralysis became a major part of his image. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis
two weeks after he fell ill. However, a 2003 retrospective
study favored a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome
Timeline and history of illness
In August 1921, at the age of 39, while vacationing at Campobello Island
, Roosevelt contracted an illness characterized by fever
; protracted symmetric, ascending paralysis
of the upper and lower extremities; facial paralysis; bladder
dysfunction; numbness; and dysesthesia
. The symptoms gradually resolved except for paralysis of the lower extremities.
- August 9
- Roosevelt fell into the cold waters of the Bay of Fundy while boating.
- August 10
- Roosevelt went sailing on the Bay of Fundy with his three oldest children, put out a fire, jogged across Campobello Island, and swam in Lake Glen Severn and the Bay. Afterward, he felt tired, complained of a "slight case of lumbago"Gallagher, HS, FDR's Splendid Deception, New York, Dodd, Mead (1985), and had chills. He retired early. Chills......