Two of the photos were taken in November 1965 in Sydney’s Prince Henry Hospital, when Gaby was eight years old. She types with a mouthstick on an electric typewriter. During the day she is strapped in a high chair, her hands in braces.
The night she spends in an iron ‘cage’ with only her head outside it on a cushion.
Since 1961, when she was struck down by polio, she has been in Prince Henry Hospital’s Respiratory Ward. During the day she attends the hospital school class. Gaby is a quadriplegic, which means she cannot move her arms or legs.
From January 1967 till September 1974 Gaby was able to live most of the time with her family, Mum, Dad, sister Monika and brother Martin. We took her on outings to the pool and to the beach. Peter, her dad, fastened her wheelchair to the back of our VW Beetle car.
In the pool I hold Gaby (13), Monika is 12 and Martin behind us is 11. I am 36.
In the photo Peter carrying Gaby out of the car and onto the beach, Gaby is probably 11 and Martin beside the car door is 9.
As far as I renenber we took Gaby right into the water at the beach only this once when she may have been only 10. Gaby was too scared of the waves. Even to the pool she didn’t want to be taken anymore later on.