Paul Alexander has died.  He spent 72 years in a nightmare machine

Paul Alexander has died. He spent 72 years in a nightmare machine

Paul Alexander, the last person alive thanks to an “iron lung”, a device that allowed him to breathe after complications from the Polio virus, has died.

For us, this is already distant history, but in the 1950s Polio epidemics occurred periodically. For most people, it was not a dangerous virus. It mainly attacked children and the lion’s share of illnesses manifested themselves in a way similar to the flu, but a very small percentage of people suffered fromł periodic or even permanent health damage. One such patient was Paul Alexander.

Paul Alexander has died. He spent 72 years in a machine that breathed for him

Paul Alexander, also known as “Polio Paul”, contracted poliovirus disease at the age of 6. While playing, he felt numbness in his neck, and it quickly turned out that his temperature was high. His condition worsened before his family decided to move him to hospital. His life was saved by a tracheostomy performed almost at the last minute. When he woke up, he found himself in a room filled with metal cylinders. He was in one of them himself.

The device in question was invented by Phillip Drinker and Louis Shaw. It is a type of respirator, and the ego was the main target allowing patients to breathewho have suffered temporary or permanent muscle paralysis. Unfortunately, in the case of Paul Alexander, this condition turned out to be permanent and he spent 72 years of his life in a cylinder. He didn’t spend his time just lying around, Paul Alexander got into law school at the University of Texas, and after graduating, he started practicing law. Mastering a special way of breathing allowed him to leave the machine, but at the end of his life he spent only a few to several minutes a day outside it.

Paul Alexander died on March 11, shortly after he was diagnosed with Covid-19. He was 78 years old at the time of his death.

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