Man Who Famously Lived In Iron Lung for Over 70 Years Has Died at Age 78

Man Who Famously Lived In Iron Lung for Over 70 Years Has Died at Age 78
Credit: @ironlungman/TikTok

Paul Alexander, affectionately known as Polio Paul, whose life story was as inspiring as it was extraordinary, has passed away at the age of 78. Having contracted polio at just six years old in 1952, Paul faced a daunting future that led him to spend more than seven decades inside an iron lung, a device that became his lifeline and a symbol of his resilience.

In Texas, during a time when polio was ravaging communities and claiming thousands of lives, Paul’s determination to live was supported by the iron lung that helped him breathe. His journey wasn’t just about survival; it was a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Paul didn’t just use the iron lung to stay alive; he used it to live fully, attending college, becoming a lawyer, and authoring a book, all while encased in the seven-foot mechanical respirator.

The news of his passing was shared by Christopher Ulmer, who created a GoFundMe page to support Paul’s medical and living expenses. Through the generosity of strangers moved by Paul’s story, over $143,000 was raised, underscoring the impact of his life on others and helping him live his final years with less financial strain.

Paul’s life was a beacon of hope and a poignant reminder of the human capacity for endurance and achievement, regardless of the challenges faced. He was recognized by Guinness World Records for the longest time lived in an iron lung, highlighting not just the length of his life but the quality and substance of it.

Tributes have poured in, reflecting on Paul’s remarkable journey and the lessons of strength, perseverance, and positivity he imparted. His life was a stark illustration of the vital importance of vaccines, serving as a reminder of the darker days of polio and the strides made in public health since then.

As we remember Paul Alexander, we celebrate not just his longevity but the indomitable spirit he embodied, teaching us all a profound lesson in living life to its fullest, no matter the circumstances.