KAREN by Marie Killilea
Kirkus Star


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A warm and winning and spirited account of a young mother's attempt to overcome the liabilities of cerebral palsy, and to refute the first medical verdict that her little girl would have ""an existence- but no life"". From later opinions (""take your child to an institution- and leave her there"") which were founded in professional ignorance of cerebral palsy and which affirmed that Karen's limitations were not only physical- but also mental, Mrs. Killilea continued in her search for an alternative, found it finally in a doctor with some knowledge of spastic paralysis and its treatment. Unable to afford the services of trained therapists- even were there any available in her community, Mr. and Mrs. Killilea worked with Karen at home, and each advance, from sitting alone to walking on crutches to finally- writing, brings its triumph in the face of recoil so often faced in public situations, the years of painful struggle and painful appliances, as well as the loneliness of a childhood cut off from her contemporaries through the lack of schooling- for children such as these- as well as treatment. And for the 22,000 children in New York State alone- of which only one in a hundred received care, Mrs. Killilea spent years in crusading for founding, and fund-raising, for the Cerebral Palsy Association which would bring help and hope for others. A gallant account, in very human terms.

Publisher: Prentice-Hall