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 utilising the 1928-era respirator.
He has led a life that is very fulfilling despite his odd circumstances, and he has never settled for anything less.
“I won’t consent to anyone placing restrictions on my life. I won’t do that. My life is amazing.
Paul ran inside his family’s home in a Dallas, Texas, suburb when he was just six years old and informed his mother that he wasn’t feeling well. Paul had always been a healthy, happy, and active youngster since his birth in 1946, but now it was obvious that something was amiss.
Paul recalls his mother saying, “Oh my God, not my son.” In accordance with the doctor’s krecommendations, he spent the following few days recuperating in bed, but the youngster plainly had polio and was not improving. Less than a week after he first felt sick, he lost his ability to swallow, breathe, or grasp anything in his hands.
When his parents finally arrived at the hospital, he joined countless other kids who were suffering from comparable symptoms.
Before polio immunizations were available, the virus incapacitated more than 15,000 people. Even when an infected individual shows no symptoms, polio, an extremely dangerous infection, can spread.
Fatigue, a fever, stiffness, muscle discomfort, and vomiting are some of the signs and symptoms of polio. Polio can, in rarer instances, also result in paralysis and death.
After being evaluated by a doctor who declared him dead, Paul was given a second chance 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 among numerous rows of kids who had also been fitted with iron lungs.
“I had no idea what had occurred. I imagined all kinds of things, like I had passed away. I kept thinking, “Is this what death is like?” Is that a casket? The Texas native asked As It Happens anchor Carol Off, “Or have I gone to another unwanted place?,” in 2017.