Healthy Lifestyle

Man who’s lived inside iron lung for more than 70 years after being struck down by polio developed new way of breathing

Paul Alexander’s life has been a relentless battle against the unforgiving grip of polio. Stricken by the disease at just six years old, he found himself paralyzed from the neck down, unable to breathe without assistance. ( Confined to the confines of an iron lung since 1952, Paul developed his own ingenious technique called ‘frog breathing’ to catch occasional breaths of freedom outside the metal coffin-like apparatus. As the ventilator breathed life into him, the world outside moved on, but Paul was determined to carve his path against all odds. ( 📺 Baby is born, doctors notice he’s missing something very important! )

Photo credit: Daily Mail

The iron lung, a haunting relic of the past, was once a lifeline for polio patients like Paul. Creating a vacuum to draw oxygen into the lungs, it offered a glimmer of hope for those whose central nervous system and respiratory function were ravaged by the disease. For Paul, breaking free from the mechanical embrace of the iron lung was a dream that he pursued with unwavering determination. Through ‘frog breathing,’ gulping air and swallowing it down, Paul managed to spend precious moments away from the machine, basking in the sensation of freedom.

Photo credit: Paul faced a crisis in 2015, when his iron lung began to malfunction and there were little parts and manufacturers available – but luckily, with the help of a YouTube video, the ventilator was fixed

However, his journey to independence was far from easy. Paul faced countless challenges and hurdles, but he persevered. With the help of his physical therapist, Mrs. Sullivan, he mastered his breathing technique, inching closer to self-sufficiency. The promise of a puppy motivated him to breathe unassisted for three minutes, a feat he achieved after a year of tenacious effort. Paul’s puppy, Ginger, became a symbol of his unwavering spirit, and as he gained more control over his breathing, he ventured beyond the confines of the iron lung. ( 📄 Tragic Scenes as Mass Shooter at Block Party in Indiana Shoots 20 People )

Photo credit: Iron lungs became common place in hospitals in the 1940s and 50s as the only way to keep patients alive

His indomitable spirit and intellect carried him through high school and college, despite the skepticism of university administrators about accommodating his iron lung. ( With a caretaker’s support, he pursued higher education and realized his dream of becoming a trial lawyer. Paul proved that despite physical limitations, one could achieve greatness with unyielding determination. ( 📄 Mom Lays Her 19-Week-Old Baby On Her Chest To Bid Him Goodbye )

Over his lifetime, he has defied all expectations, living life fully and experiencing the world in ways unimaginable to many. He has navigated airports, fallen in love, and embarked on adventures, despite being one of the last remaining users of the iron lung. His memoir, ‘Three Minutes for a Dog: My Life in an Iron Lung,’ is a testament to his resilience, written meticulously with a pen attached to a stick in his mouth. Paul’s life is a true testament to the human spirit’s triumph over adversity.

As we hear Paul’s story, we cannot help but feel a profound emotional connection to his struggle and triumphs. ( 📺 Ohio K-9 cop fired for allegedly lying about discussing dog attack on Jadarrius Rose: Report ) His journey inspires us to face our challenges head-on, to push through the darkest of days, and to never give up on ourselves, no matter the obstacles we encounter. Paul’s battle with polio and his resilience in the face of adversity touch the deepest corners of our hearts.

Let us hear your thoughts on Paul Alexander’s remarkable journey. How does his story resonate with you? What emotions does it evoke? Share your reflections in the comments below, and together, let’s celebrate the indomitable human spirit and the power of resilience in overcoming life’s greatest hurdles.

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