Polio Paul, Renowned for Life in Mechanical Chamber, Dies at 78

Credit: @NickArcadeX/Twitter

Renowned attorney Paul Alexander, fondly known as Polio Paul, passed away unexpectedly on March 11, 2024, at the age of 78.

Paul, who spent most of his life confined to a mechanical chamber, succumbed to undisclosed causes.

In 1952, Paul was diagnosed with polio, a disease that left him paralyzed, necessitating the use of an iron lung—a device designed to assist polio patients with breathing difficulties during the 1950s.

This contraption, originally crafted by Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw Jr., resembled a metal box with bellows to aid breathing.

Back then, before the polio vaccine became available in 1955, there was widespread concern that many children would face breathing challenges due to muscle paralysis.

The iron lung, priced between $1,500 and $2,000 upon its inception, underwent numerous enhancements over the years.

Paul Alexander holds the distinction of being the lone polio survivor reliant on an iron lung for an extended period.

However, maintaining and repairing such equipment pose considerable challenges today, as the device is seldom utilized.

Confirmation of Paul's passing surfaced through a GoFundMe page administered by Christopher Ulmer.

The page, aimed at supporting Paul's medical expenses, amassed $143,461 in donations before its closure.

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