Paul Alexander, polio survivor in iron lung for over 70 years, dies at 78 after Covid diagnosis

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Paul Alexander, nan man who lived wrong an iron lung for complete 70 years aft contracting polio, died Monday aft being hospitalized for Covid past month, his friends and family said. He was 78.

Alexander's decease was announced connected a GoFundMe group up to thief him pinch finances.

"I americium truthful gratitude to everybody who donated to my brother's fundraiser," Philip Alexander said connected nan GoFundMe. "It allowed him to unrecorded his past fewer years stress-free. It will besides salary for his ceremonial during this difficult time. It is perfectly unthinkable to publication each nan comments and cognize that truthful galore group were inspired by Paul. I americium conscionable truthful grateful.”

"His communicative traveled wide and far, positively influencing group astir nan world. Paul was an unthinkable domiciled exemplary that will proceed to beryllium remembered," GoFundMe organizer Christopher Ulmer wrote connected Tuesday.

The origin of his decease was not mentioned. Alexander, who lived successful Dallas, Texas, was rushed to nan infirmary successful precocious February aft testing affirmative for Covid, according to his social media manager. He was released from nan infirmary but was struggling to eat and drink.

The "Iron Lung E 52" connected displayThe "Iron Lung E 52" connected show successful nan Medical History Museum (BMM) of nan Charité successful Berlin connected June 12, 2023.Soeren Stache / dpa / image confederation via Getty Images file

Alexander was declared nan longest surviving robust lung diligent past March by nan Guinness World Records. He contracted polio during an pandemic of nan debilitating illness successful nan 1950s arsenic a kid surviving successful Texas.

Despite his condition, Alexander graduated from assemblage pinch a rule grade and ran his ain ineligible practice. He besides became a published writer pinch nan book "Three Minutes for a Dog," detailing his life.

In caller months, Alexander started a TikTok account calling himself "Polio Paul," wherever he talked astir his accomplishments and answered questions astir life successful an robust lung. The relationship had complete 300,000 followers astatine nan clip of his death.

Katherine Itoh

Katherine Itoh is simply a news subordinate for NBC News.