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  1. #1

    Tennessee Woman Dies in Iron Lung After Power Failure

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,359304,00.html

    Dianne Odell, 61, had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.


    "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."

    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 and other family members. Though confined inside the 750-pound apparatus, Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children's book.


    Odell was determined to live a full life — she earned a diploma from Jackson High School as a home-bound student and an honorary degree from Freed-Hardeman College. A voice-activated computer allowed her to write a children's book, "Less Light," about Blinky, a tiny star who dreams of becoming a wishing star.

    In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, she said she wanted to show children, especially those with physical disabilities, that they should never give up. "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you see someone do the same thing," she said


    snip~

    Im really surprised they didnt have a generator already but with her getting weak it was probably near that time anyways. It makes my little complaints in life seem so petty when I see someone who has such a restricted life and still made the best of it. Im going to look up about buying the book.

  2. #2
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    It's sad she died in the Iron Lung because of a power failure. How did she live her life that way? I have to admire her determination to finish school and to write a book.

  3. #3
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    I had no idea anyone was still in a full iron lung. I know some were transferred into one that was chest size and they could be semi mobile. That's amazing. I have a cousin who had polio. She still limps and one leg is weak and very thin, but being very intelligent, hard working and a real go getter, she graduated from FSU and is currently the Social Welfare director of a major hospital. She was also born with a cleft lip. Amazing woman.

  4. #4
    I found a few more links-

    http://www.dianneodell.com/ This is her website and she was in the process of writing her autobiography.

    http://www.meritcare.com/news/world/...e.aspx?id=4860
    Its a story about a fundraiser given to her for long term care for her.

    I know of a few people affected by polio but not this badly.

  5. #5
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    My dear late Aunt Carol was a victim of polio when she was three years old. It left her where she had braces on her legs and used crutches to walk. It didn't prevent her from becoming a fabulous swimmer and later in life she was the owner of a successful employment agency. The largest portion of her business was providing domestic help and nannies for movie stars and others in the Hollywood area. I remember going to her office when I was small and seeing the hundreds of Christmas cards that decorated her walls from notable celebraties at the time.

    This was years ago, when women weren't as prevelant in the work-force. There was even a write up about her and her success through adversity in the, I believe, Saturday Evening Post.

    Bless her heart. At the end, she had a multitude of health problems that I understand originated all the way back to the polio and the treatment she received throughout the years. She was a wonderful person.

    May Ms. Odell RIP. She was about the same age as my Aunt when she passed.

    fran

  6. #6
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    Dec 2005
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    i think there are still some people in iron lungs... wasn't there a fatality in florida or louisiana last year?
    God Bless her, but I am sure this was a horrible way for her to pass away as I am sure she was aware... that her lungs were failing due to the power outage and the outage of her iron lung. Why did they not have a generator?!??! In this case, I am sure that insurance would have provided for one or that emergency crews, etc would come and bring one or transport her to medical care themselves??!?!?


    or was she a dnr and that was against her wishes?

  7. #7
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    My father contracted polio when he was 2 years old. He lived his life with braces on both legs and on crutches, and lived a full and happy life.

    I did not realize that there was anyone living on an iron lung anymore. Sad story, but she was an amazing woman.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedinurse View Post
    i think there are still some people in iron lungs... wasn't there a fatality in florida or louisiana last year?
    God Bless her, but I am sure this was a horrible way for her to pass away as I am sure she was aware... that her lungs were failing due to the power outage and the outage of her iron lung. Why did they not have a generator?!??! In this case, I am sure that insurance would have provided for one or that emergency crews, etc would come and bring one or transport her to medical care themselves??!?!?


    or was she a dnr and that was against her wishes?
    I read on cnn.com that they did have an emergency generator but that it failed to start. They also tried the manual crank but for some reason that didn't work either.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobi View Post
    I read on cnn.com that they did have an emergency generator but that it failed to start. They also tried the manual crank but for some reason that didn't work either.
    Now THAT is very sad. They took all the precautions and all failed.

    I hope her family knows they did everything humanly possible to protect her and don't blame themselves. It seems it was meant to be this way.

    Bless her heart.

    fran

  10. #10
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    I saw this on the news this morning. How sad. They (The news reporter) said they had researched and there were 37 people that still used the iron lung.


  11. #11
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    Amazing lady and family. What dedication.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2004
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    Very sad...



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