Dianne Odell, stricken with polio since she was a child, lived in an iron lung since she was 3 years old. A local power outage, due to a fallen tree in the neighborhood, took the machine offline.
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.
She spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents, other family members and aides provided by a nonprofit foundation. Though confined inside the 750-pound apparatus, Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children’s book about a “wishing star” named Blinky.
More details from the Associated Press…
Image caption: In a Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2007 file photo, Dianne Odell watches her favorite soap opera at home in Jackson, Tenn. The family of 61-year-old Dianne Odell said she died early Wednesday, May 27, 2008, after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing, and family members were unable to get an emergency generator working . Odell spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents and other family members. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, John Partipilo, File)