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Related terms: Post-Polio Sequelae, PPS

The Man in the Iron Lung

Posted 1 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 – Paul Alexander's most impressive accomplishment is something most people never think about. He taught himself how to breathe. Alexander, 67, is a victim of the worst that polio had to offer children in the late 1940s and early 1950s. At the age of 6, he was completely paralyzed by the disease, his lungs stopped working, and he was literally thrown into an iron lung. Alexander has been in that iron lung for 61 years because he remains almost totally paralyzed, able to move only his head, neck and mouth. He is one of an estimated seven people in the United States who are still living in an iron lung, and yet he has had a long and successful career as a lawyer. "Over the years, I've been able to escape this machine for a few hours at a time by teaching myself voluntary breathing," Alexander said recently as he lay in the iron lung at his home in Dallas, Texas. "I ... Read more

Related support groups: Post-Polio Syndrome, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis

The Salk Polio Vaccine: A Medical Miracle Turns 60

Posted 1 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

Part one of a two-part series MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 – Most American parents today can't fathom the horror that summers brought during the first half of the 20th century. Summer meant polio season, and whole communities waited in dread for an outbreak to strike. Ordinary life all but ground to a halt in cities and towns where polio went on its rampage, crippling or killing scores of children. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, swimming pools and beaches – even churches – all were shut down to prevent the spread of what was then a mysterious disease. Fear-driven neighbors turned on each other, or fled for more isolated environs. "My mother talks about walking my sister in the neighborhood while I was in the hospital with polio, and parents pulling their children off the street and into the house upon sight of them, for fear of catching the disease," recalled Daniel Wilson, a 64-year-old ... Read more

Related support groups: Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated, Post-Polio Syndrome, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Poliovirus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Orimune, Ipol

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