From Bud Yaden to the World: Smile!
Video Archive Clip - Yaden, Byron William (1897-1975) - From Bud Yaden to the World: Smile! - Mixed Relations Series - Edited in December, 1987 (3 min 21 sec)
Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself because life hands me setbacks, I think of Grandpa Bud......and then kick myself in the butt! He was one of the most positive people I have ever met, despite having every reason to feel sorry for himself.
Bud Yaden and his younger brother "Pug" (William David) volunteered for the United States Army when America entered WWI. Both were deployed with the First Army to the Argonne Forest in France. Pug (age 19) was killed in action on October 5, 1918 and Bud (age 21) returned to Yakima, WA during 1919 following the armistice of November 11, 1918.
During 1920 Bud started to have incidences of weakness in his legs and would randomly fall while playing sports and climbing stairs. The incidences increased in both frequency and intensity over the year and by the spring of 1921 he was completely paralyzed from the chest down. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis that doctors think he contracted while serving in the Argonne Forest.
In the summer of 1921 he was told by doctors to make sure his affairs were in order because they thought his life expectancy was short. At best, they felt he would likely not live to see 1930. In 1930 they told him he would likely not survive to see 1940, and in 1940 to see 1950, and so on. After outliving most of his doctors, they stopped predicting his demise. At his death in 1975 at age 78, he was thought to be the oldest living paraplegic in the United States from the WWI era. And he was still smiling!
Dan's Favorite Stuff - Tributes