Polio Stories in Video

A Paralyzing Fear, The Story of Polio in America
A Paralyzing Fear, The Story of Polio in America. Directed By: Nina Gilden Seavey. 1998

A Paralyzing Fear The Story of Polio in America

This documentary examines polio’s physical and emotional costs and highlights those at the forefront of finding its cure.

Watch the trailer (5m)

Watch the full documentary on Vimeo 1h 30m


Polio and Iron Lungs in the 1950s. Le Clercq's Illness.
Polio and Iron Lungs in the 1950s. Le Clercq’s Illness. American Masters PBS

Polio and Iron Lungs in the 1950s. Le Clercq’s Illness.

Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq contracted polio while on tour in Europe in 1956. She was hospitalized in Copenhagen, where an iron lung kept her breathing and her husband George Balanchine stayed to care for her.

Watch the trailer (1:43m)


Kansas City polio survivor is one of last iron lung users in U.S.

For 36 years, Mona Randolph, 82, has slept six nights per week in a 75-year-old, 700-pound and 6-foot-long iron machine . She couldn’t breathe without it. By Shelly Yang

Watch her story (4:24m)


Read the full feature about the Last of the Iron Lungs here http://gizmo.do/5YzAxdk

The Last Few Polio Survivors – Last of the Iron Lungs

Paul Alexander is one of the last few remaining polio survivors that depend on iron lungs—half-century-old machines that force inhabitants to breathe.

Watch his story (7:08m)


Cover of Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung

NYTimes article of Martha’s passing (may require an account )

Martha Mason: 60 Years in an Iron Lung

She wrote a memoir, Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung, which was published in 2003. She was also the subject of Martha in Lattimore (2005), a documentary film by Mary Dalton. Mason also appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary about polio The Final Inch (2009).

Watch her story (2:23m)


Dianne Odell watches her favorite soap opera in her iron lung at her home in Jackson, Tenn. | John Partipilo, Associated Press

Read of her passing in https://www.deseret.com/2008/5/29/20255096/woman-who-spent-life-in-iron-lung-dies

Polio Revisited part 3

Dianne Odell of Jackson, Tennessee has lived in an iron lung longer than anyone alive. She tells the story of the day she fell ill with polio and describes what it’s been like to live her life in an iron lung and why it is the only way for Dianne and others like her to survive.

Watch her story (6:06m)


The Polio Crusade

The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.

The Polio Crusade: Trailer (0:30s)


Watch Chapter 1