1 min read

Man with Polio, Spent 70 Years in Iron Lung, Dies

March 14, 2024
ov63bdd8 paul alexander polio

Paul Alexander, the man who spent 70 years inside an iron lung, has died at the age of 78. He was forced to live inside the 600-pound metallic structure after being struck down by polio at the age of six. Widely known as “Polio Paul”, Mr Alexander was paralysed from the neck down since 1952 due to the disease, leaving him unable to breathe by himself. He was rushed to hospital in Texas after developing symptoms, and woke up inside the mechanical lung.

His death was announced on his GoFundMe page on Tuesday (March 12). “After surviving polio as a child, he lived over 70 years inside of an iron lung. In this time Paul went to college, became a lawyer, and a published author. His story traveled wide and far, positively influencing people around the world. Paul was an incredible role model that will continue to be remembered,” Christopher Ulmer, who had set up the page, said in the update.

A message from his brother Philip read: “I am so grateful to everybody who donated to my brother’s fundraiser. It allowed him to live his last few years stress-free.

Mr Alexander faced many challenges since he was born in 1946. He endured the worst polio outbreak in US history with almost 58,000 cases – mostly children.

According to a New York Post report, the disease severely affected Mr Alexander, requiring him to use a machine to breathe.

Polion, or Poliomyelitis, is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis. It made Mr Alexander too weak to breathe.

He underwent an emergency tracheotomy and was placed in an iron lung to help his body combat the deadly disease. He relied on the neck-to-toe machine to survive since then.

The iron lung employs a technique called “frog breathing,” which uses the throat muscles to force air past the vocal cords, allowing the patient to swallow oxygen one mouthful at a time, pushing it down the throat and into the lungs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Discover more from The Kashmir Monitor

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Don't miss a beat! The Kashmir Monitor delivers the latest Kashmir news, sports highlights from every league, political updates, entertainment buzz, and tech innovations happening right now.

Leave a Reply