Woman Who Lived In Iron Lungs Dies

A woman who spent 61 years in an iron lung yet graduated from college and wrote a book about her life has died at her North Carolina home.

A close friend said Tuesday that Martha Mason died early Monday in Lattimore. She was 71.

Mary Dalton, an associate communications professor at Wake
Forest University, produced a documentary about Mason's life in
2006.

Dalton said polio left Mason paralyzed from the neck down in 1948, yet she graduated first in her class from Wake Forest in 1960. She studied English and was well-versed in politics and literature, but it wasn't until 1994 that a voice-recognition computer allowed her to write about her life. Her book, "Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung," was published in 2003.


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  • by Mary Location: NC on May 7, 2009 at 11:38 AM
    It was her life, just because you don't get to experiance things of this world doesn't mean you didn't live. She might have touched every persons life she met. I wish I could have met her, and gave her my time. She is a great woman who I am going to go and get her book to read. Amazing.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on May 6, 2009 at 10:07 PM
    61 years in that thing was not living. ...She was in a yellow tank since she was 10 years old? ...My sympathies. ..Ms.Mason never knew the pleasures of first love, child birth, prom, getting your drivers licenses, weddings, honeymoons, first days of school. ...She earned her place in Heaven. I hoped she "walked" through the Pearly Gates!
  • by Just a girl Location: Wmst on May 6, 2009 at 08:21 PM
    Wow Bless her heart,,I just don't even know if I could have been that strong to live on..God Bless Her and Her family.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on May 6, 2009 at 09:37 AM
    What an amazing person! My Dentist is also paralyzed from polio, yet his is from the waist down. RIP Mrs. Manson!
  • by jojo on May 6, 2009 at 08:36 AM
    Amazing, God bless her
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on May 6, 2009 at 08:20 AM
    She sure would have earned my respect.
  • by Alison Location: Havelock on May 6, 2009 at 07:14 AM
    This is amazing!
  • by Richard Location: Bertie on May 6, 2009 at 06:23 AM
    And we complain about minor temporary discomforts.
  • by Thankful Location: windsor on May 6, 2009 at 06:13 AM
    And we think we have problems!
  • by me Location: nc on May 6, 2009 at 05:27 AM
    Amazing.I bet she was one of a kind.God Bless her.
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