Friday, May 15, 2009

Martha in Lattimore

Film maker Mary Dalton (pictured at left) has produced a fine tribute to Martha Lattimore, a remarkable woman who lived in an iron lung for almost 60 year. Martha in Lattimore is an important film to see. It is a tribute to the human spirit, and a cautionary tale. Polio has the potential for this kind of devastating sequelae, yet some parents today refuse to immunize their children. If you wish to purchase a copy of this film, please write to Mary Dalton.

From the web site: "
The first thing you notice when meeting Martha Mason is the bright yellow iron lung that encases her body and helps her breathe just as it has since 1948 when, at age 11, she contracted polio. She has lived in this life-saving machine longer than anyone else in the world, and she has lived most of those days in Lattimore, a small town located in southwestern North Carolina.

At first the image and sound of the iron lung are distracting if not shocking, but soon after talking with Martha, the massive, metal cylinder becomes inconsequential because it is so greatly exceeded by her spirit. She says that she has survived for so many years while so many others with the same disease died because of the exceptional care she received from her parents and community and because she has always been driven to learn.

Her personal story has long inspired her friends and neighbors, but Martha has been a private person for most of her life. With the assistance of her voice-activated computer, she wrote her autobiography, Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung. In the months since its publication, however, Martha has heard from people the world over who found something in her story that moved them, motivated them, or otherwise resonated with their personal experiences. This film tells her story in the context of Lattimore, the little town that has nurtured Martha throughout her life."

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