There is still someone in the US living in an iron lung

One of the Last People to Live in an Iron Lung Is a Longhorn

Paul Alexander still remembers the sound of the screen door slamming on that rainy July day in 1952.

The then-6-year-old had just run inside after playing in the field behind his Dallas home. He was feverish and his neck ached. He walked in barefoot, dragging mud onto the kitchen floor. The door sprang shut behind him. He knew his mom would be mad when she saw the mess, but he was taken aback by the fear in her voice.

“God, please, no,” she said. She knew then polio had come for her son.

1952 was riddled with fear for many parents. It was the worst year for polio in the U.S., with nearly 60,000 cases reported across the country. Some cities shut down popular gathering places—movie theaters, swimming pools, bars, bowling alleys. … Continue Reading (7 minute read)

15 thoughts on “There is still someone in the US living in an iron lung”

  1. Reddit-username_here

    Yeah, I remember hearing about this a while back. It’s actually very difficult to keep that thing running since manufacturers aren’t making as many now and people with the know-how to fix them are increasingly rare.

  2. kozmonyet


    Iron Lungs were reliable, simple, and could be hand actuated in the event of a power failure or transport..but it still seems odd that he never upgraded to a modern ventilator. That still isn’t fun but would theoretically give better mobility and potentially access to better adaptive tools.

  3. eljefe43

    Did he write the bulk of the series Branded?

  4. Futhermucker


  5. TwoDogKnight

    What do you do all day with your body in a metal tube and your head sticking out?

  6. splinkymishmash

    There’s at least one more. My dad’s cousin near Oklahoma City.

  7. woodie4u247

    Ok, i’ll ask. What about the issue of going to the bathroom or bathing?

  8. mmmoonpie


  9. H4llifax

    Wait what do they use today instead of an iron lung?

  10. rekniht01

    This story should be repeated to every single anti-vaxxer, everyday.

  11. 8th_sense

    Yes. Arthur Digny Sellers. Wrote 156 episodes of Branded, the bulk of the series.

  12. mfknnayyyy

    That’s a crazy story!!! Way to go for not giving up and finding a way to live a purposeful life… And here I am wasting away on reddit lol fml

  13. beatmaster23

    and listening to Radiohead.

Leave a Comment