Royal Alberta Museum has Morinville connection

Above: An iron lung machine and picture of Dorothy Heppler were donated to the museum by Cecilia Chevalier.

by Lucie Roy

On Wednesday the community bus left Morinville for a trip to the Royal Alberta Museum.

The Seniors enjoyed a day of exploring the new museum in the Natural History, Bug Gallery and Human History Gallery.

The Human History Gallery featured the iron lung machine with a display of dolls that has a Morinville connection.

In 2009, Cecilia Chevalier donated the collection of dolls currently on display at the Museum in memory of her sister Dorothy Heppler and also in honour of the nurses who cared for Dorothy during the 1950s when she was stricken with polio.

Dorothy had two strains of polio during the epidemic of 1953 and spent two to three months in an iron lung which saved her life. The dolls were an incentive for Dorothy.

She had to learn to breathe on her own outside the iron lung and as she was afraid, each time she breathed a little bit longer the nurses enticed her with a doll. Each doll symbolizes her determination.

The nurses purchased the dolls and often crocheted clothing for them.

One of Dorothy’s favourite was a walking-talking doll.

This doll was presented to Dorothy when she had finished her rehabilitation period in the iron lung.

The dolls are part of the medical collection along with a picture of Dorothy and an iron lung machine.

Also on display is the portable chest shell ventilator that Dorothy would have worn after leaving the iron lung before breathing on her own.

The iron lung machine in the background and the collection of dolls donated by Cecilia Chevalier to the Royal Alberta Museum.

Two Morinville residents exploring exhibits.

Rita Hebert on her tour of the Natural History Gallery.

Monica Warrener looking at the Velvet ant Mutille in the Bug Gallery. The Velvet ant are wingless female wasps that resemble ants and lay their eggs in the nests of bees and other wasps.

Some members of the group upon arrival at the Museum.

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