A polio victim was kept alive in a metal tube for 58 years only to die when a power outage shut her iron lung down.
Her name was Dianne Odell, and for more than half a century she lived with an iron lung. A thunderstorm in 2008 knocked out the power to her home, which shut off the metal machine that had kept her alive for almost 60 years. When the power went out, the emergency generator didn’t start, and her father and brother-in-law tried to keep her alive by pumping the iron lung manually.
Dianne is thought to be the oldest survivor of polio. She had been inside the 7 foot, 750 pound lung ever since she was paralyzed at age 3 by polio- back in 1950. Her parents decided to care for her. She managed to graduate high school, take college classes, and even write a book.
Her whole family adapted to live taking care of her. Her father even built a generator as a backup power system in case of a blackout. On several occasions, he had to crank the machine by hand to keep her alive. Polio has long since been vaccinated and basically eradicated. Iron lungs are also no longer made.