Sunday, March 6, 2011

More iron lungs

When people are nostalgic for the 'simpler' times of the 1950's (after the war but before the turbulence of the sixties) they usually conveniently forget about horrors such as polio and iron lungs. These days many people probably only think of an iron lung as a Radiohead song, and even then many people miss the metaphor - something that keeps you alive but becomes very restrictive.

I am amazed by people who have lived their whole lives in them but have remained cheerful and happy. As well as the story below about John Prestwich there is also the story of Martha Mason who has lived in an ironlung for over 60 years.

(A)s one of the few surviving people left who live their lives encased in an iron tank, she said she intends to continue as she always has -- making the most out of what life has offered her.
"Get as much joy from life for yourself and others as you can squeeze out of it," she said.

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