The Girl in the Iron Lung: The Dianne O’Dell Story

Retail Price: $21.95


The Girl in the Iron Lung is the story of Dianne O’Dell, who was diagnosed with polio at the age of three and lived in an iron lung for 58 years until her death in 2008. She is noted as one of the longest-surviving victims of polio to have spent most of her life inside an iron lung, lying flat on her back for nearly six decades.

Her entire world was the iron lung, but she adapted. She learned to write with her toes and loved to paint pictures. She graduated from high school and took college classes. She tutored children, spoke at her local Rotary Club, and wrote a children’s book to encourage young people, especially those with physical disabilities, to never give up.

The Girl in the Iron Lung tells the story of Dianne’s challenging, but rewarding life, and the efforts of her loving family to care for her daily needs. Through this book, Dianne will continue to be a source of inspiration for years to come.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.
About The Author

Will Beyer 

was born and grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, and earned a track and cross-country scholarship to David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was an accomplished distance runner, and later taught and coached track and field. After college, he married Mary Beth O’Dell (Dianne O’Dell’s youngest sister), and they moved to Jackson, Tennessee. They have two sons, Chase and Chance. Will worked with Jackson Christian School as a teacher, coach, and in administration.

Upon completion Learn More about Will Beyer

“There was never a tougher human being than Diane Odell—not mountain men, not pioneers, astronauts, or wartime heroes. She was a light of two things in my life, something to strive for and also an echo of how I could have always done better. I guess that’s a blessing, because inspiration is hard to come by these days.”

-David Keith, Consultant, Director, Actor and double Golden Globe nominee

“I knew I wasn’t mentally tough enough to have lived her life as she did for fifty-eight years. In terms of my faith and my believing that there is a better world, knowing Dianne strengthened my faith and my belief. She had such a genuine perspective on life. Knowing her made me believe there truly is a better world waiting.”

-Cliff Harris, Former Member of the Dallas Cowboys

“I just think Dianne was the most courageous person I ever met. She had the most incredible attitude and taught those of us who knew her how to be better people.”

-Stella Parton, Musician and Entertainer

“Polio is a vicious, evil virus that attacks the most vulnerable—children. Since 1979, Rotary has been the champion of Polio Eradication. We made a promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio and Rotarians keep their promises. We and our partners have made great progress but until the world is certified polio free, we all must work to protect the innocent children from this disease that has ravaged the lives of so many throughout our world.

“This story is about a family who faced the difficulties of a polio infected child with determination, faith and love.”

-John F. Germ President, Rotary International 2016-17 Chair, The Rotary Foundation 2021-22 Chair, Countdown to History Committee

Book Details
Author: Will Beyer
Pages: 160 pages
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-956027-67-9
Cover Type: Hardcover
Case Quantity:

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