Living an Incredible Life with an Iron Lung at 76

Paul Alexander’s life took an unexpected turn when he was six years old. He was given a polio diagnosis in 1952, which is a communicable disease that can result in paralysis. Paul defied all odds to live, and he became one of the last individuals on the planet to still rely on an iron lung—a respirator that gives him breathing assistance. Paul, who is now 76 years old, looks back on his incredible journey that was full with tenacity and fortitude.

Accepting the Challenges of Life

Paul’s life has not been typical at all. Despite having an iron lung since he was a little child, he has accepted the extraordinary and defied expectations. Despite his situation, he won’t allow other people tell him what is or isn’t possible. “My life is incredible, and I won’t accept anyone’s limitations,” is how he puts it.

The Battle to End Polio

Prior to vaccines were developed, polio was a deadly illness. Paul became infected with the virus in 1952, and many of kids were affected. Paul’s journey, however, took a different route when a medical professional offered him an emergency tracheotomy and an iron lung, giving him a second chance at life. For young Paul, waking up to see a room full of other kids in a similar scenario was both confusing and horrifying.

Overcoming Adversity

Paul had a difficult time recovering from his tracheotomy, which prevented him from speaking. But he didn’t give up. He stayed in the iron lung for eighteen months, healing bit by bit from the original infection. He heard physicians declare his death and saw the suffering of other youngsters. Their skepticism just strengthened his resolve to disprove them.

A Progress-Driven Life

Paul was released from the hospital in 1954, but things would never be the same in his life. He was uncomfortable in society and felt alone, so he turned to Mrs. Sullivan, a committed therapist, for support in regaining his confidence. He overcame great obstacles because she promised him a puppy if he could breathe without the iron lung for three minutes.


Paul gradually extended his time outside the iron lung by being persistent and mastering a method known as “frog-breathing.” He achieved incredible achievements, becoming a lawyer after graduating from high school with honors despite never having attended classes.

Composing His Own Account

Paul persisted in pushing limits long after his 30-year career in the courtroom proved fruitful. He used a pen that was hooked to a stick to type every word in a book. This remarkable feat exemplified his unwavering spirit and ardor for life.

Paul is still confined to his iron lung, which is now regarded as an outdated device, at the age of 76. He still likes the familiarity and dependability of the metal chamber despite technological developments. His iron lung’s spare parts come from abandoned equipment that may be discovered in garages, barns, and even junk shops.

Motivating Others

Paul has persevered through many hardships and outlived both his parents and his elder brother because to his unwavering determination. By telling others his tale and urging them to never give up, he keeps inspiring people. According to him, the only boundaries we have are the ones we set for ourselves. His extraordinary legacy stands as a tribute to the strength of the human spirit and tenacity.

Thanks to vaccinations, polio has been essentially eliminated in the United States since 1979. Still, incidents linked to vaccinations are cause for alarm. By telling friends and family about Paul’s experience, we can raise awareness and motivate others to overcome their own obstacles.

Remind everyone that the only boundaries we encounter are the ones we allow ourselves to believe in by sharing Paul’s amazing experience.

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