To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Man who has lived inside iron lung for more than 70 years shares what happens when machine loses electricity

Man who has lived inside iron lung for more than 70 years shares what happens when machine loses electricity

He's spent decades inside the machine

A man who has spent decades living inside an iron lung has shared what happens when the machine loses electricity.

Paul Alexander, from Dallas, Texas, was just six years old when he contracted polio - at first his symptoms were mild, he began to suffer with aches in his muscles and developed a fever, as well as fatigue.

However, his condition soon worsened and he was eventually left paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe on his own again - leading to him being placed in an iron lung where he’s remained ever since.

The illness has left him dependent on the machine, which works by pulling air in and out of his lungs to stimulate breathing.

Recently, Paul has decided to share an insight into his life on TikTok, in a new series called 'Convos with Paul!', which allows his followers to ask any burning questions they might have.

One follower asked Paul what happens if the power goes out or the iron lung ever stops working to which he responded: “Say the electricity goes out - bad storm, no electricity. The iron lung does not work because it’s all run by electric pulses - so if the electricity goes out, it stops and I stop breathing.

“To me, that’s life or death if it doesn’t start back up, it’s death, because I can’t breathe very long on my own without the iron lung.

“I’ve had my attendant before in the middle of the night, Kathy, come running in in the dark with no electricity, no lights, but came right over to me leaned over and put her lips on mine and blew air into my lungs. She was a warrior and she saved my life.”

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Paul has managed to live a full life.

He passed high school and went on to get two law degrees, write a book about his life, and spend years practising law and running his legal practice from a specially modified wheelchair - not to mention his new foray into social media.

Paul Alexander has relied on his iron lung since he was just six years old.

Opening up about his incredible life, he said: "I have been paralysed and I live in an iron lung because I can't breathe on my own.

"I went to school in my iron lung. I am a lawyer now. I practised law for 30 years.

"I wrote a book and gave it to the world about me and my polio. And millions of people know my name today. I have goals and dreams of doing some more things before I go visit some place.

“And I plan to do and accomplish both goals with my friends.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: Tiktok/Ironlungman

Topics: US News, Health