The Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation
was founded in 1927 in Warm Springs
, by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt
and philanthropist Basil O'Connor
as a treatment center and refuge for poliomyelitis
patients. In 1921 Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, at the time diagnosed as polio, and lost the use of his legs. He founded the Institute after hearing about a boy who had regained the use of his legs, through a treatment known as hydrotherapy
, which involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases. The operations of the Institute were paid for by the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which later became the March of Dimes
. The Warm Springs Institute currently treats about 100 patients every year.
In 2005 the Warm Springs Institute was featured in the television movie Warm Springs, which details FDR's struggle with polio, his discovery of the Georgia spa resort and his work to turn it into a center for the aid of polio victims, and the subsequent resumption of his political career.
A peer-reviewed study in 2003 determined that Roosevelt's paralytic illness was more likely caused by Guillain-Barré syndrome, not polio.