How did Polio Survivor Paul Alexander die? How did Polio Survivor Paul Alexander die?

How did Polio Survivor Paul Alexander die?

Paul Alexander’s life was full of challenges since he came into the world in 1946. He was the victim of the terrifying polio outbreak in the United States that affected over 58k individuals, majority of them being children.

Who was Paul Alexander?

Paul Alexander was a prominent American lawyer who was faced paralysis when he was just six. He was amongst those who were critically affected by polio in the major outbreak that occurred in 1952 killing over 3000. Paul was the polio survivor who had to face lifelong repercussions.

He was paralytic for lifetime just able to move uppermost organs of the body such as mouth, head, and neck. He was treated alongside several children who were fighting for their lives getting treatment in a ward equipped with iron lungs. He was allowed to lead a normal life after specializing the unique breathing technique and pursued education as a homeschool student. He was a brilliant student of his time and was awarded graduation from the Dallas High School, the first one to have achieved it without any physical attendance in the school.

How many people are still in an iron lung?

An iron lung is a medical equipment that utilizes the concept of negative pressure helping the victims to breathe when their respiratory system does not support them, especially when they are paralyzed and the muscles fail to enable breathing in the body, as it is seen in polio victims. It was used initially to treat the patients who were affected by polio in the mid 90’s before the polio vaccines were developed.

The iron lung functions by creating vacuum around the chest portion, and leads to the expansion and contraction, exhibiting the natural breathing process. The patient is fitted in an airtight metal device, with only head outside the chamber. With the advancement in the technology, positive pressure ventilators and advanced vaccines, the use of the iron lung was almost over.

How long a patient has to be in an iron lung?

The duration to live in an iron lung depends on the intensity of polio attack on the victim. It takes a few days, months, and in some cases patient has to be in the 600 pound chamber for a lifetime. There were more than a thousand people using iron lung in the United States during the polio outbreak, which reduced to just three by 2017, with the eradication of the disease after the invention of the vaccine by Jonas Salk.

Obituary, Cause of Death

Paul Alexander, the American lawyer who spent most of his life inside an iron lung, finally dies inside the chamber at 78. He was impelled to spend his life in a 600 pound metallic chamber after getting affected by polio when was six years old. He was even known by the name of Polio Paul, one of the only two persons who were in the iron lung in the current times.

He was a brilliant individual who motivates people across the globe by the achievements he gained in his life tenure. He published a book in April 2020 on his life with the help of his friend Norman named- Three Minutes for a Dog: My Life in an Iron Lung that took eight long years.

Is Paul Alexander Married?

Paul Alexander holds the Guinness Book of World Records for spending the highest amount of time in the metallic vessel. He found his lady love when he was studying in Dallas and got in a romantic relationship with Claire. Claire’s mother did not allow her to sustain the decision of marrying Alexander after getting aware of his physical condition. She even did not allow to have any conversation with Paul after that. He was touched after his separation from Claire and it took years for him to heal, as per the reports from The Guardian.

He never got married to anyone after the incident but was close to Kathy Gaines, who was blind but cared for Paul for more than 30 years.

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