Jacquelin Perry Dies; Post-Polio Expert Was 94

    March 15, 2013

Dr. Jacquelin Perry, an orthopedic surgeon who became famous for her work with post-polio patients, has died. The Lost Angeles Times reports that Perry passed away at her home in Downey, California on March 14. She was 94 years old and had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Perry was born in Denver, Colorado in 1918, and graduated from UCLA in 1940 with a degree in Physical therapy. She served as a physical therapist in the Army during World War II, where she treated patients with polio. After the war, she studied medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Later, along with Dr. Vernon Nickel, Perry developed the “Halo,” the device that uses a ring screwed into a patient’s skull to lock the spine and neck.

As a professor of surgery at the University of Southern California, Perry later took up the task of analyzing the biomechanics of walking, and developed an approach to treating gait defects. She later wrote a textbook on the subject, titled Gait Analysis, that is still used today.

(Image courtesy Polioplace.org)