Cured after 18 Years- Cripple breaks seven years' silence - "Dying" Woman Walks
"Daily Chronicle" of 17 July 1925
From our Special Correspondent, Oysterfleet, Canvey Island, Thursday
The sole topic of conversation amongst people of this Island concerns a great wonder seen in their midst. After being practically bedridden for 18 years, Miss Polly Teskey, who for the last three or four years has lived with her mother at ‘Dilkusha’, a small bungalow in Oysterfleet, rose from her sick bed. She walked to the other end of the room, sat in a chair, and asked for something to eat. As she rose, she said, “Lord, I believe”. Until that moment she had for a few days been going from bad to worse, and it was believed that her last moments were at hand. She had been as in a trance, unable to recognize anyone.
At the moment of her transformation a friend, Mrs Rush, was sitting with Miss Teskey. Today she told me that as she rose Miss Teskey cried out to her “Don’t stop me. The Lord is going to make me quite well if I walk to that chair. I have been talking to the Lord Jesus, and he says if I have faith to believe He will heal me”.
“The doctor had given her but a few days to live”, said Mrs Rush, “and we all thought it was a matter of hours. On Monday her pulse had practically gone- in fact, there was scarcely any perceivable beating. At 6.30 pm all that could be said of her was that she was on the border line. Her eyes were fixed almost as in death, she was motionless, and her body was rigid. Three quarters of an hour later she was sitting bolt upright in that chair asking for food, like any ordinary person, and saying, “Mrs Rush, I am talking, I am talking” and her voice, except for occasional feeble whispers, had not been heard for seven long years”.
Miss Teskey is the least excitable person here. When I entered her little cottage to congratulate her on her recovery she was sitting on the edge of the bed on which for many years she had lain in pain and sickness, now talking and laughing with a crowd of astonished neighbours. She walked across the room to show me what, as she described it, “the Lord’s miracle had done for me”.
“I cannot run about yet of course” she said “but I was able to go down the steps into the garden and stay out there for three hours this morning. This thing is no work of a medical man. I was beyond their aid, and they said so. The Lord did this for me, because I had faith in Him. I never wanted to get better, though, and frequently asked the Lord to take me away altogether. This is just a miracle and nothing else. I remember dreaming that I was in a beautiful garden, talking to God. He told me that through Satan I had had many years of sorrow to test me, but that I would now have years of joy, and would be needed by my mother. She is getting on now. She has looked after me all through the dreary years of illness, and now I am going to devote myself to looking after her. I have no other plans”.
“I have not spoken since the Armistice and have not even been able to whisper for the last five months. In fact, I have no recollection whatever of the last two or three months”.
Miss Teskey was only 23 when she was thrown out of a trap onto her head, and as a result became paralysed down the left side, and her head was drawn down to her left shoulder. Despite all treatments at hospitals, including the London Homeopathic, she became worse, and was finally confined to bed, both legs being paralysed. In 1918 the paralysis reached her throat. She was conveyed to Canvey in bed on a motor lorry in 1922 and until Monday had never left it. She had been attended recently by Dr Norman Wheatley, late of the London Hospital. “I cannot account for her recovery in any way”, he told me today. “As far as medical men were concerned, she was beyond all aid, and nothing I have done is responsible for her sudden recovery. She was paralysed through an injury to her spin. There is no reason why she should not become normal again”.
Pollie’s father, James Teskey was born in Rathkeale, County Limerick, Ireland son of Adam Teskey and Mary Legear. In 1874 he married Eliza Nunn, who came from Honington in Suffolk, daughter of John and Hannah Nunn. After living in Southwark for many years the family settled to Leyton in North East London. Their modest terrace house in Manor Road was also called ‘Dilkusha’. James died there in 1916. Pollie was born in 1884 and named Hannah Mary but was always known as Pollie. In 1922 Pollie was moved to Canvey Island and with her mother lived there in the bungalow called ‘Dilkusha’.
Ken McDonald says his mother, Doreen, her parents and aunts and uncles would go there for days out, weekends or holidays. After her ‘miracle’, Pollie cared for her mother Eliza until her death in 1933. The ‘Dilkusha’ bungalow was pulled down, so Eliza and Pollie moved into an extension built onto a nearby bungalow owned by the Milford family, ‘Restromal’ in Roosevelt Avenue. Pollie stayed with the Milford family after her mother’s death until they sold their bungalow, at which time Pollie left Canvey.
Ken says; Pollie lived to the age of 83. She never married, had a passionate faith in God, and is remembered as a rather dominating character.
Thank you to Ken McDonald for allowing us to publish these fantastic pictures and for all the information he has sent me. You can see more on the Teskey family here.