Martha Mason dies at 71May 6th, 2009 - 8:19 pm ICT by GD
An extraordinary North Carolina woman named Martha Mason died on early Monday in Lattimore. Mason was seventy one years old and had spent sixty one years of her life in an iron lung. She had authored a book on her eventful life. A documentary on Mason’s life was produced by Mary Dalton in 2006. Dalton, who was deeply interested in Mason’s life, is an associate professor of communications at Wake Forest University. Though paralyzed by polio neck downwards in the year 1948, Mason not only continued her studies in the University of Wake Forest, but actually graduated at the top of her class 1960.
Mason’s subject of study was English and she was very interested in politics and literature. However it was only with the technological development of a voice-recognition computer that she could start writing her book in 1994. Mason’s book is titled, “Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung,” and it was published six years ago in 2003. The 1948 epidemic afflicted her with polio, and in her iron lung, Martha survived longer than any polio survivor ever has. And that too after she was told that she would not survive more than a year. Doctors had told her that she could not live more than a year. C.C. Padgett, Martha’s school principal (Lattimore Schools), organized a home schooling program for her.
In September 2003, Wake Forest University honored Martha with the Pro Humanitate Award. In 2004 the Gardner-Webb University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. Martha “lived above” her disease, and as she had always said, she did not let polio get the better of her till the last breath of her life. Her exemplary life is truly one of courage and inspiration.
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Tags: breath life, early monday, eventful life, exemplary life, gardner webb university, home schooling program, honorary doctorate, humane letters, iron lung, last breath, martha mason, mary dalton, north carolina woman, padgett, polio, polio survivor, seventy one, technological development, voice recognition, wake forest university