May 31, 2008

بامكانك أن تجعل الحياة جيده ، أو أن تجعلها سيئه You can make life good, or you can make it bad






Dianne Odell with her mother Geneva Odell, having a conversation via a mirror attached to the iron lung that kept her alive for 57 years


تينيسي، الولايات المتحدة -- رغم قبولها العيش لحوالي 60 عاماً داخل أنبوب معدني طوله 2.25 متراً لعدم قدرتها على التنفس خارجه، وتصميمها على ألا تدع شيئا يدمر عزمها، إلا أن ديان أوديل توفيت، جراء انقطاع التيار الكهربائي! فقد كان الأنبوب المعدني بمثابة رئة معدنية ثقيلة للغاية، إذ كانت( الرئة) تزن قرابة كيلو 340غراماً.وكانت أوديل مستلقاة على ظهرها ورأسها مكشوف، وتواصلت بالرؤية مع زوارها من خلال مرآة ذات زوايا، بينما استخدمت جهاز كمبيوتر يعمل بالصوت. وخلال هذه السنوات داخل الرئة المعدنية، حازت أوديل على شهادة الثانوية العامة، وتلقت دروساً في الجامعة، وألفت كتاباً للأطفال عن "نجمة تمني"تسمى بلينكي. وفي العام 1994، قالت أوديل: " لدي حياة جيدة للغاية، يملؤها الحب والعائلة والإيمان..
بإمكانك أن تجعل الحياة جيدة، أو أن تجعلها سيئة."
وعاشت أوديل، التي أصيبت بشلل الأطفال عندما كانت في الثالثة من عمرها، مع والديها، فريمان وجنيفا أوديل، وكان منزلهم مزوداً بمولد للطاقة صمم لحالات الطوارئ، بحيث يعمل مباشرة في حالة انقطاع الطاقة. وفاة أوديل ( 61 عاما) كانت غير طبيعية، إذ توفيت جراء انقطاع التيار الكهربائي الذي أدى بدوره إلى إيقاف تزويد الكهرباء للأنبوب وإيقاف المضخة عن تزويد رئتيها بالهواء، وفقاً للأسوشيتد برس. وقال صهرها ويل بيير، إن أفراد العائلة لم يتمكنوا من تشغيل مولد الطاقة البديل للحالات الطارئة، إثر انقطاع التيارالكهربائي عن المنطقة التي يوجد فيها منزل عائلة أوديل. وأضف بيير:"فعلنا كل شيء كان باستطاعتنا فعله، ولكن لم نتمكن من إبقائها تتنفس. أصبحت ديان أضعف بكثير خلال الشهور الماضية، ولم تكن لديها القوة الكافية لتستمر." وحاول أفراد العائلة استخدام مضخة طوارئ يدوية متصلة بالرئة الحديدية، غير أن محاولاتهم باءت بالفشل. وكانت أوديل قد أصيبت بشلل في النخاع الشوكي والأعصاب القحفية قبل ثلاثة أعوام من اكتشاف لقاح لشلل الأطفال. واعتنى بها والداها وأفراد آخرون من العائلة، بالإضافة إلى مساعدات قدمتها مؤسسة غير ربحية. وكانت رئة أوديل الحديدية، الشبيهة بتلك التي استخدمت إبان فترة وباء شلل الأطفال بالولايات المتحدة بالخمسينيات من القرن العشرين، وهي عبارة عن حجرة أسطوانية مغلقة عند الرقبة. وفي وقت لاحق، تم استبدال الرئة الحديدية بآلات التهوية التي تعمل بالضغط الإيجابي بحيث تعطي المستخدمين حرية أكبر في الحركة، غير أن تشوه العمود الفقري عند أوديل منعها من استخدام آلة تنفس عصرية قابلة للنقل.



Dianne Odell watches her favourite soap opera at home in Jackson, Tennessee, last year

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) -- For almost 60 years, Dianne Odell lived inside a 7-foot-long metal tube, unable to breathe outside it but determined not to let it destroy her spirit. From her 750-pound iron lung, she got a high school diploma, took college courses and wrote a children's book about a "wishing star" named Blinky. "I've had a very good life, filled with love and family and faith," she said in 1994.
"You can make life good, or you can make it bad."
Odell, 61, died when a power failure shut off electricity to the tube and stopped the pump drawing air into her lungs. Family members were unable to get an emergency generator working after a power failure knocked out electricity to the Odell family's residence near Jackson, about 80 miles northeast of Memphis, brother-in-law Will Beyer said. "We did everything we could do, but we couldn't keep her breathing," Beyer said. "Dianne had gotten a lot weaker over the past several months, and she just didn't have the strength to keep going."
Odell, who contracted polio when she was 3 years old, lived with her parents, Freeman and Geneva Odell, and their house was equipped with an emergency generator designed to fire up immediately in a power failure. "But for some reason, it didn't come on," Beyer said. Family members even tried an emergency hand pump attached to the iron lung. "Everyone knew what we were supposed to be doing," Beyer said. "It just wasn't working." Capt. Jerry Elston of the Madison County Sheriff's Department said emergency crews could do little to help.The local power company reported spotty power outages in the area because of storms. Odell was afflicted with "bulbo-spinal" polio three years before a polio vaccine was discovered and largely stopped the spread of the crippling childhood disease. Her care was provided by her parents, other family members and aides provided by a nonprofit foundation. "Dianne was one of the kindest and most considerate people you could meet. She was always concerned about others and their well-being," said Frank McMeen, president of the West Tennessee Health Care Foundation, which helped raise money for equipment and nursing assistance for Odell. Odell accepted her life with grace, McMeen said. "Everyone she encountered came to her because they cared about her," he said, "so she grew up in her 61 years thinking every person is good." Odell's iron lung, similar to those used during the U.S. polio epidemics that peaked in the 1950s, was a cylindrical chamber with a seal at the neck. She lay on her back with only her head exposed and made eye contact with visitors through an angled mirror. She operated a television set with a small blow tube and wrote on a voice activated computer. The positive and negative pressures produced by the machine forced air into her lungs and then expelled it. Iron lungs were largely replaced by positive-pressure airway ventilators in the late 1950s that give users much more freedom of movement. But a spinal deformity from the polio kept Odell from wearing a more modern portable breathing device. Joan Headley of Post-Polio Health International in St. Louis said that about 30 people in the United States still rely on iron lungs but that few users are confined to them all the time. No one keeps records, she said, on the longest confinement. Caregivers could slide Odell's bedding out of her iron lung for basic nursing care but only briefly, McMeen said. Though Odell could not leave the iron lung, she was able to be moved in the machine. For her 60th birthday, in February 2007, friends and family held a party for her, with about 200 guests, at a downtown hotel in Jackson, a town of about 50,000 residents. "She had a 9-foot birthday cake, and she had letters ... from people all over the country,"McMeen said.





Dianne Odell with a signed photo of the country singer Kenny Chesney

A lifetime in an iron lung: courage in the face of a cruel disease .Stricken in childhood by polio, Dianne Odell had spent six decades encased in the machine that kept her alive until a sudden power failure this week. Guy Adams salutes a woman of rare fortitude

For the first time in almost 60 years, Dianne Odell's family home was silent yesterday. Only a string of well-wishers interrupted the eerie calm that pervaded the house where, for as long as anyone can remember, a noisy electric motor had powered the massive "iron lung" pumping air in and out of her body. Just 24 hours earlier, thunderstorms had blown trees on to a power-line near the modest house in Jackson, Tennessee, setting in train a tragic series of events that would shut down an enormous metal machine that had kept the 61-year old woman alive since she was a toddler. Shortly after 3am, Ms Odell's father, Freeman, and brother-in-law Will Beyer realised that their emergency generator had failed to kick in, and attempted to fit another artificial respirator. When that wouldn't work, they tried pumping the iron lung manually in a last, desperate attempt to feed air into her lungs. But Dianne Odell could not be saved. She died a few minutes later, finally falling victim to the appalling condition that had first touched her life at the age of three, and would eventually turn her into a remarkable and world-famous symbol of suffering – and hope. "We did everything we could do, but we just couldn't keep her breathing," Mr Beyer said yesterday. "Dianne was a very unique person. But she had gotten weaker over the past several months and she just didn't have the strength to keep going." Ms Odell was believed to be the world's longest-surviving victim of polio to have spent almost her entire life inside an iron lung, a now virtually obsolete medical device that keeps patients alive by forcing air in and out of their paralysed bodies. She had been confined to the 7ft, 750lb metal tube – which mostly remained in the living room of her parents' home 80 miles north-east of Memphis – since 1950, when she had fallen victim at the age of three to a severe case of "bulbo-spinal" polio. This crippling disease, which has since been eradicated in the developed world through vaccination programmes, forced doctors to encase her in a sealed cylindrical metal container, which produced alternately positive and negative pressure that allowed her lungs to expand and contract. Although experts at the time gave her just a few years to live, Ms Odell remained lying on her back, with only her head extending from the mechanical device, for nearly six decades. She was cared for by her close family together with a community of friends and admirers, with whom she made eye contact through an angled mirror. Despite the difficulties of Ms Odell's condition, she managed to get a high-school diploma, take college courses, and even write a children's book about a "wishing star"' called Blinky – all from the confines of the living room of her home at 133 Odell Street. A small television set was mounted on a frame above her head and operated with a blow-tube. She wrote on a voice-activated computer. And over the years, as her fame grew, she touched the lives of thousands of supporters and fellow-sufferers around the world. For her 60th birthday party in February last year, she was painstakingly transported inside the machine to a local hotel, the last time she would ever leave the house. Tributes poured in from Hollywood stars – including the actress Jane Seymour and her husband James Keach. Al Gore also paid homage. "Dianne was one of the kindest and most considerate people you could meet. She was always concerned about others and their well-being," said Frank McMeen, a family friend and president of the West Tennessee Health Care Foundation, which ran a fund to help finance her treatment. "Each of us grows into our world, but Dianne's world was a bed in her living room. But as we took people to meet her, they also became her world, and she adapted. She tutored children; she spoke to the Rotary Club; she became a remarkable person who managed to do a great deal with her life. Right now, her family is suffering from their loss. But her legacy will provide comfort." Behind Ms Odell's achievements were her mother, Geneva, and father, Freeman, who were determined to care for her at home, even when Medicare, the public health insurance scheme, announced that it would only fund her treatment if she were moved to a nursing home. In addition to raising the $80,000 it cost to care for Dianne each year, they devoted themselves to making her life as normal as possible.Freeman, a Second World War veteran and professional telephone engineer, installed a speakerphone system connecting their home with the Jackson Central-Merry High School, so that Dianne could listen in to lessons during her teenage years. She later used the device to study at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee. Although her condition eventually forced her to withdraw, she was awarded an honorary degree from the institution. In 2001, Ms Odell used a voice-activated computer to write a children's book about a small star who wanted to become a "wishing star" in order, she told interviewers, to show youngsters, especially those with physical difficulties, that you should never give up. She even became a political activist, helping to canvass for state senators via telephone. Although in recent years she suffered from a series of mini-strokes, her death came as a shock to fellow victims of polio, who regarded her as a poster-girl for the handful of Americans still forced to use iron lungs on either a constant or occasional basis. "Her story leaves me with mixed emotions," said Richard Daggett, a polio survivor from Downey, California. "Obviously, she triumphed for very many years, despite tremendous health problems, and that's joyful. But while we all must die eventually, the circumstances of Dianne Odell's life and death make it particularly sad for her family and friends. "An iron lung can be a strange place to be. It's not unpleasant most of the time. You are comfortable and of course you are kept alive, but it can be frustrating if, for example, you have an itchy nose and are totally unable to scratch it. But it's as gentle a form of artificial respiration as you can hope for." Joan Headley, of Post Polio Health International, a charitable organisation in St Louis, said that about 30 people in the United States still rely on iron lungs, although few users are confined to them all the time. No one keeps records on the longest confinement. "Some people just use them to sleep, but Dianne was an extreme case," she said. "But for all that, she went to school and she got an education, and she made people aware of the plight of other polio sufferers, so we have to admire her." In Jackson, a town of about 50,000, the community that has for decades rallied round the Odell family, are determined her name should survive. Frank McMeen said yesterday that any remaining money in the Dianne Odell fund will be used to set up an endowment for disadvantaged children. The iron lung will be donated to the local museum. At the Church of Christ, where the Odell family worship, they will say farewell next week – and may draw comfort from the words of the woman who was incarcerated for so long. "I remember walking to a ball game with daddy," she once said. "And I remember being on a train. It seems like I can remember playing out in the mud one day. But I've had a very good life, filled with love and family and faith.
You can make life good or you can make it bad. I've chosen the good."

*****
انها الروح الجميلة التي تصنع الفرق، أليست كذلك؟
It is the beautiful spirit that makes the difference, isn't it?

6 comments:

The Beautiful Heart said...

أمانة وقد رُدت الى بارئِها..

عظيمة هذه المرأة وامثالها كُثر وهم بحق ملهمين لجميع البشر المتشائمين والمتفائلين على حد سواء

فإن قرأ المتشائم عن هذه المرأةوتجربتها ربما يزيح عنه ستار الشؤم وينظر بإيجاب لكل شئ حوله..

وإن قرأ المتفائل عنها فلن يكتفي بتفائلة بل سيزيد ولن يقف عند هدف معين بل ستتعدد اهدافه ويستحث عزيمته
على المسير قدماً لتحقيق كل ماتصبو النفس لتحقيقة , فهو يملك الكثير

عندما اقرأ عن تجاربٍ مثل تجربة ديان اعلم حينها اني لم افعل شئ يذكر في الحياة !!

أميـــــره said...

رسالتك أخي كما تقول .. ملهمة الى أولئك الذين ينظرون الى الحياة من خلال مرشحات سوداء ..

وما أكثرهم بيننا !

أسطركـ تبعث الأمل ..

الحمد لله على كل حال

The Beautiful Spirit said...

the beautiful heart,

شكرا للمساهمه،

و آسف لتأخر تعليقي على التعليق!

The Beautiful Spirit said...

أميره،

أنت من يملك الامل

و ما أسطري الا وسيله

LIGHT said...

تفاؤلوا بالخير تجدوه





هذه هي زيارتي الأولى .. كل التوفيق أتمناه لك



نور

The Beautiful Spirit said...

نور،

شكراللزياره،

و شكرا للدعاء