Paul Alexander is one of the last people residing in an iron lung after he contracted polio in 1952 at age six.
He has been making use of the iron lung for more than seven decades and has since become an advocate for polio awareness and the significance of vaccines.
More so, the iron lung is also known as a negative pressure ventilator. It is a large horizontal cylinder designed to stimulate breathing in patients who have lost control of their respiratory muscles.
The patient’s head is exposed outside the cylinder, while the body is sealed inside. Air pressure inside the cylinder is cycled to facilitate inhalation and exhalation.
In the mid-20th century, iron lungs were widely used to treat patients with polio, a highly contagious viral disease that can cause paralysis and respiratory failure.
However, with the development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s and 1960s, the incidence of polio decreased dramatically, and the use of iron lungs became less common.
Today, there are only a handful of people in the world who still rely on iron lungs for their survival. Paul Alexander is one of them, and his story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of vaccination and the impact that polio has had on the lives of many people.