Ledbury Rotary Club in Gloucestershire used the backdrop of the town’s annual community day to make a feature of an iron lung display to promote the End Polio Now campaign.
The display attracted crowds of people of all ages keen to know what the lung was for. One youngster thought it was an ice cream stand!
Back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when polio was at its height, it resulted in the crippling of limbs and muscles, but worse was the attack on internal organs with paralysis.
The only way to breathe was in an iron lung which provided negative pressure in a steel drum in which many patients spent their entire, and usually short, lives.
Subsequently, polio sufferers would have had a hole made in their windpipes, with a tube fixed to a ventilator pump.
The iron lung is a stark reminder of the terrible effects of polio and why it must be eradicated globally.”
Thornbury Rotary, also from Gloucestershire, recently bought an iron lung, using a grant, which is provided as a mobile exhibit, and which has been displayed at local events.
The iron lung is a stark reminder of the terrible effects of polio and why it must be eradicated globally.
In Ledbury, the display served as an excellent educational tool, with a number of visitors from the nursing profession recalling their days with the iron lung and remembering how noisy they were.
The community day was an opportunity for organisations and societies to showcase what they do – everything from the fully-costumed Sealed Knot re-enactors, to history groups, the scouts and schools.
There were 150 stalls and Rotary’s presence with the iron lung, complete with the Mayor and other leaders, gave the organisation a prominence and interest in our work.
For further details of the display contact Ben Bradley.