Paul Alexander: the man who lived 70 years in an iron lung dies after contracting COVID-19

Paul Alexander, the man who lived inside an iron lung for more than 70 years after contracting polio as a child, died Monday after being hospitalized in February for COVID-19, his friends and family said. He was 78 years old.

Alexander’s death was announced on a GoFundMe account created to help him financially with his illness.

“I am very grateful to everyone who donated to my brother’s fundraiser,” wrote Philip Alexander.

“It allowed him to live his last years without stress. It will also serve to pay for his funeral in these difficult times. It’s absolutely amazing to read all the comments and know that so many people were inspired by Paul. “I am very grateful,” he added.

“His story traveled far and wide, positively influencing people around the world. “Paul was an incredible example that will continue to be remembered,” added Christopher Ulmer, organizer of the GoFundMe fundraiser, on Tuesday.

The cause of his death was not mentioned.. Alexander, who lived in Dallas, Texas, was rushed to the hospital in late February after testing positive for COVID-19, according to his representative on social media.

He was discharged, but had difficulty eating and drinking.

(Polio was eradicated thanks to vaccines although false Instagram posts say otherwise)

In March 2023, The Guinness World Records declared Alexander the longest surviving iron lung patient alive.

He contracted polio during a polio epidemic in the 1950s, when he was just 6 years old and living in Texas.

Despite his illness, Alexander graduated from Law and ran his own law firm. He also published the book Three Minutes for a Dogin which he recounted his life.

In recent months, Alexander started a TikTok account where he called himself Polio Paul and in which he talked about his achievements and answered questions about what life was like in an iron lung. The account had more than 300,000 followers at the time of his death.