One of the last persons with an iron lung is a 76-year-old guy who was disabled by polio at age 6 and who says, his life is amazing.

Paul Alexander, who is 76 years old, has led a life that is unique. He has used an iron lung for the most of his life and is one of the last persons in the world to still be utilizing the 1928-era respirator.

He has had a life that is very fulfilling given his odd circumstances, and he has never settled for anything less. He won’t consent to anyone placing restrictions on his life. He won’t do that. His life is amazing.

Paul went inside his family’s home in a Dallas, Texas suburb when he was just six years old and informed his mom that he wasn’t feeling well.

Paul recalls his mom saying, “Oh my God, not my son.”

In accordance with the doctor’s recommendations, he spent the following few days recuperating in bed, but the child plainly had polio and was not improving. Less than a week after he first felt unwell, he lost his ability to swallow, breathe, or grasp anything in his hands.

When his parents eventually arrived at the hospital, he joined numerous other kids who were suffering from the same symptoms.

Before polio immunizations were available, the virus incapacitated more than 15,000 individuals.

After being evaluated by a doctor who declared him dead, Paul was given a second shot at life by a different doctor.

After the emergency tracheotomy was completed by the second doctor, Paul was then put inside an iron lung. Three days later, when he finally came to, he found himself amid numerous rows of kids who had also been fitted with iron lungs. Rows and rows of iron lungs as far as the eye can see. Full of kids, he reportedly stated.

He recovered from the first illness within the metal container for 18 months. Some people may have lost the desire to live, but Paul was only strengthened by it.

Every time a doctor went by, he would hear them remark, “He’s going to die today” or “He shouldn’t be alive,” and he wanted to contradict them.

He was released from the hospital in 1954, but he soon realized that his life had fundamentally changed after admission.

In a video interview in 2021, he said, individuals didn’t like him very much back then. He got the impression that they were uneasy with him.”

But with the aid of Mrs. Sullivan, a therapist who came to see him twice a week, little by little his life started to get better. His therapist offered to buy him a puppy if he could “frog-breathe” for three minutes without the iron lung, a method that involves flattening your tongue and expanding your neck to trap air in your mouth.

Paul was able to spend more and more time outside the iron lung after a year of laborious effort.

At age 21, he became the first individual to get an honors diploma from a Dallas high school without ever showing there in person. After receiving multiple denials, he finally set his eyes on attending college and was admitted by Southern Methodist University.

He remembered, they stated he was too disabled and did not receive the immunization.  After two years of him harassing them, they agreed to two things. Two things: first, that a fraternity would be in charge of him; and second, that he receive the polio vaccination.

After graduating from Southern Methodist University, he moved on to the University of Texas in Austin to pursue a legal education. He passed the bar exam and started practicing law in the Dallas–Fort Worth region.

He was also really darn good at it. He continued to remain occupied by creating a book, which he typed all by himself using a pen linked to a stick, even after a 30-year career in the courtroom. He is also composing a follow-up novel!

The 76-year-old is one of the few people still utilizing an iron lung and is presently 24 hours a day bound to one. Paul claimed that since he “never surrendered,” he has been able to have such a meaningful life. He remarked that he wanted to accomplish the things he was told he couldn’t do and to dream the dreams he imagined.

Paul is undoubtedly inspirational. His tenacity demonstrates that the only restrictions are those we impose on ourselves.

To encourage others, please tell your friends and family about his experience.

The Man in the Iron Lung

The world needs to hear Paul’s incredible story. Paul is a polio survivor who spends everyday in an iron lung, a device from the early 1900's which keeps him alive. Please watch the whole video before commenting.

Posted by Mitch Summers on Tuesday, 19 January 2021

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