The Daily Scribe

Thought Provoking Issues!

Lost Angel . . .

with 5 comments

As her father and brother-in-law took turns pumping the 7-foot-long, 750-pound machine she was encased in, Dianne Odell, 61 clung to life.

The Odell’s home, located in Jackson, a small town in Tennessee, which is about 90 miles northeast of Memphis had lost power in a thunderstorm around 3 a.m. The emergency generator did not start, and as both men took turns pumping the iron lung manually, Dianne Odell died.

Dianne had been confined to the iron lung machine from the age of three when she was paralyzed by bulbospinal polio. Doctors had informed the Odell’s that their daughter would not live very long, but she proved them all wrong.

Although encased in the cylindrical metal chamber, with only her head protruding from it, Dianne was able to live a very productive life. Her father, Freeman Odell, who worked for a telephone company, installed an intercom system that connected their home to Jackson Central-Merry High School, so Dianne could participate in classes from her bedroom.

She also took classes from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, but debilitating health concerns forced Dianne to quit before earning her degree. She eventually received an honorary degree from the university.

Dianne wrote a children’s book, (with the help of a voice-activated computer), about a tiny star that wanted to be a wishing star. She also helped out with local political campaigns, making phone calls for senators. She even tutored children and spoke at the Rotary Club.

Dianne spent 58 years inside an iron lung . . . and accomplished so much from that prone position. No more noises are heard from the electric motor that used to power the iron lung, which pumped air in and out of Dianne Odell’s body.

All may be quiet in the Odell’s home . . . but the memory of a woman, who refused to give in to polio . . . lives on.

God Bless you Dianne … heaven has just received a very powerful Angel.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author


5 Responses

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  1. Now, the woman with the Longest coma in known history was an Irish-American, Edwarda O’Bara. After 42 years, it was a blessing.


    November 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    • Correction:
      Now, the woman with the Longest coma in known history was an Polish-American, Edwarda O’Bara. After 42 years, it was a blessing.


      June 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  2. On the very day this webpage is published, the ALD patient, Lorenzo Michael Murphy Odone, died of pneumonia.


    June 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    • Now Lorenzo Odone is a angel now. It was a blessing.


      May 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      • Lorenzo’s parents are gone now, but he will be remembered by his sibling, Cristena and Francesco Odone.


        May 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

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