Ála Wokoun: Czech Polio Survivor’s Trilogy

Polio Association of the Czech Republic (www.polio.cz) has published a biographic trilogy sponsored by the Czech Ministry of Culture. The author of the three Czech paperbacks, Mr. Ála (Alois) Wokoun was affected by polio in 1945 when he was 19. The trilogy has not been published in English, but the basic author’s English biography from the year of his paralysis is in the website with two photographs and contacts.

In the first tome of his trilogy, under the title SVETOBEZNIKEM SE SADISTKOU (Globetrotter with Sadist Polio), the author narrated his dialogues and duels with polio, how he became a Kenny therapist in wheelchair, and in other chapters, he humorously depicted his travels on crutches and in a wheelchair to 40 countries on 4 continents. Some of his adventures, e.g. how he became an therapist or coqueted with a camel, were published by Gini Laurie in Toomey j Gazette. Later the readers of the Rehabilitation Gazette from Saint Louis read how a paraplegic was able to mount an elephant.

In the second tome SLASTI VOZICKARE (Delights of a Wheelchair User, 2000), Ala Wokoun satirically deals with wheelchair users’ specific troubles, and also with their pleasant experiences. The book was awarded a prize of the Czech Government Committee for Disabled Citizens, and Czech Radio 2 read many chapters on seven evenings in January 2004. The author narrated how he married, carried his baby in his wheelchair, studied law, theory of art and developed informative contacts of the Czech Polio Association and the Czech League of Wheelchair Users with foreign partners including the GINI, now Post-Polio Health International, informing Czech Polios on its deserved activity.

In some chapters he depicted his experiences as a delegate at the Independence Congress in Vancouver and the World Congress of Rehabilitation International in Nairobi in 1992. He wrote also about his interest in modern African art and how he gave lectures to university students from his wheelchair and how Czech television documented it.

The trilogy’s last tome, VYSINUTY SENIOR (Aberrant Senior, 2003), narrates the differences of a senior with late effects of polio and – in spite of them – about his many possibilities even after 75 years of age, e.g. surfing and researching on internet, further adventures in an power wheelchair, literary activity in the world of unlimited fantasy and a frivolous, lightminded philosophy.