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Yousuf KARSH | Sister Kenny

KARSH, Yousuf
Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002
1925 Canada
Sister Kenny 1948
gelatin silver photograph
printed image 50.0 (h) x 39.0 (w) cm
Purchased 1973
NGA 1974.396.69
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Trained as a nurse in Sydney, Elizabeth Kenny first became a bush nurse in Queensland. During World War I she served on ships that were ferrying the sick and wounded back to Australia. Her early encounters with poliomyelitis led her to the development of a massage treatment for the paralysis caused by the disease. This became her life’s work. In 1940 Sister Kenny travelled to the United States and eventually to Minneapolis where, in 1942, the Sister Kenny Institute was established. She was noted for her forcefulness, persistence, courage and ground-breaking treatment of poliomyelitis, but opinion remained divided on whether her treatment should be recognised as legitimate.

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