The Rotary Iron Lung
Rotary started on the Polio eradication trail in 1985 at which time 350,000 souls per annum were paralyzed by this disabling disease. By 2015 this number had decreased to 74 but the work was far from over and at least another 4 years of immunisation at an estimated cost of £5 billion is required to rid the World of Polio.
As a way of fund raising and increasing awareness, especially in the young, the idea of a trailer mounted Iron Lung seemed a novel approach that had certain merits. Having been primarily used in the 1940’s through to the 60’s (Lord Nuffield of Morris car fame manufactured 4000 units which he donated to the Nation) sourcing a unit proved impossible leaving no other option than the construction of a new one.
Steel was purchased and rolled
Stiffening rings were produced
After a full day of welding the body took shape
Bed track fabricated and installed and door/window apertures plasma cut.
Support framework/legs welded into situ
Head end fabricated to suit body
End supports and bed bolted into place
Body returned from paintshop
Fitment of windows, side doors, mirror, head rest etc. and drive temporary in place
Having completed the Lung a trailer to house it in was then required. A second hand lorry back/box was acquired.
Dismantled with a bit of help
And flat packed for its parts
A caravan chassis was overhauled and a new strengthened floor added
Walls put back into place
Door openings created
Roof reduced in size to suit body
Completion of trailer fabrication
A coat of paint was required
External and internal art work added
Lung installed and operational