R.I.P. Martha Mason

Illustration for article titled R.I.P. Martha Mason

Martha Mason, whose memoir, Breath, chronicles living since the age of 11 in an iron lung following paralysis from polio, has died at 71. There are perhaps 30 Americans living in iron lungs. [NYT]

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I wept a little bit reading that. My dad contracted polio when he was four. He spent some time in an iron lung and he never walked again, but he was "only" paralyzed from the waist down. Complications from the disease still affect him. It's horrible. I'm just so happy to read about someone else who had a long, full life despite such mind-boggling challenges. And so happy to read about that town full of people who made the effort to include her in their lives. I am sure they were richer for it too.