The Generator Failed

60  bar falls 30.16 0mph NW dew-point 36  Beltane, twilight

              Last Quarter of the Hare Moon 

 This story grabbed me.  See below it to see why.

“MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A woman who spent nearly 60 years of her life in an iron lung after being diagnosed with polio as a child died Wednesday after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing, her family said. Dianne Odell, 61, had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.

Family members were unable to get an emergency generator working for the iron lung after a power failure knocked out electricity to the Odell family’s residence near Jackson, about 80 miles northeast of Memphis, brother-in-law Will Beyer said.

“We did everything we could do but we couldn’t keep her breathing,” said Beyer, who was called to the home shortly after the power failed. “Dianne had gotten a lot weaker over the past several months and she just didn’t have the strength to keep going.”

Capt. Jerry Elston of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department said emergency crews were called to the scene, but could do little to help.

Odell was afflicted with “bulbo-spinal” polio three years before a polio vaccine was discovered and largely stopped the spread of the crippling childhood disease.”

 I learned a couple of years ago that I spent some time in an iron lung during my episode with bulbar polio.  It was a shock to me.   Paralysis struck my left side and lasted for about a year.  I recall one event in an emergency room or an operating room, lights above my body, people in white working on me.  I saw all this from a spot up near the ceiling.  I know this sounds weird, but the memory has permanent residence in me.  The remarkable part is that no one from the family was in this  room.  Just me.  And the medical team.

Seeing this story reminds me of all the others, like me, who were victims of the post-war polio epidemic.  Most of us made it through with little physical aftermath, but some died.  Some still wear braces.  Some required breathing support of one kind or another for their entire life.  It all seems so long ago, but this woman was exactly my age. 

I wrote some today on Superior Wolf, about 1,500 words.  Moving forward.