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People left wondering if man who lives inside iron lung machine can actually get out

People left wondering if man who lives inside iron lung machine can actually get out

Paul Alexander has lived in an iron lung for most of his life

A man living inside an iron lung for the vast majority of his life has answered whether he can actually get out of it.

Paul Alexander, from Dallas, Texas, has required a colossal tank respirator since contracting polio at just six-years-old, with the machine pulling air in and out of his lungs to stimulate breathing.

After playing outdoors with his brother, a young Alexander began to suffer with aches in his muscles and a fever, as well as fatigue.

He was left paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe on his own again - leading to him being placed in an iron lung.

Alexander spoke of being 'put on a gurney' by hospital staff and placed in a ward full of children with polio, adding: "Most of them were dead."

"I had become immobile; I don't think I could even talk." he also said.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, however, Alexander was able to live his life to fullest.

He passed high school and went on to acquire two law degrees, write a book about his life, and spent years practising law and running his legal practice from a specially modified wheelchair.

However, the lawyer also decided to spread awareness around polio with a TikTok account - namely a new series called 'Convos with Paul!' which allows his followers to ask any burning questions they might have.

Paul Alexander has been in the iron lung for more than 70 years.
Dallas Morning News/YouTube

Amongst the hundreds of questions asked to him by fans on a daily basis, however, is one that a lot of viewers are seemingly dying to know: whether or not Paul can ever get out of his giant metal contraption.

"How do you go to the toilet and how do you avoid pressure areas?" one person asked him.

Another pondered: "Can you get out of the iron lung for bathing? How does that work?"

"Isn't there other options with today's different technology so you can get out and about at times?" a third inquired.

Paul posts videos on his TikTok page, educating his viewers about Polio and talking about his life experiences.

Though he hasn't yet revealed yet whether or not he's able to take a break from the contraption during the day, he did admit: "I can't breathe for very long on my own without the iron lung," adding that to be away from it for too long 'means death'.

Alexander went on to recall an incident by which the electricity in his home was shut off, before his carer Kathy ran in to aid him.

"[She] leaned over and put her lips on mine and blew air into my lungs.

"She was a warrior and she saved my life."

Opening up on the aim of his social media account, Alexander previously told his followers: "I want to talk to the world about polio and the millions of children not protected against polio.

"They have to be before there is another epidemic."

He also revealed that he has to pay to keep alive due to needing specific equipment and help in his day-to-day life.

Last week, he thanked the contributors to a GoFundMe which had raised over $137,000 (£108,000), saying he was 'blown away' by people's generosity.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/IronLungPaul GoFundMe/IronLungsPaul

Topics: Health, TikTok, US News, Paul Alexander