Published August 06, 2013
A man who has lived in a hospital for 45 years hooked up to an artificial respirator is creating an animated television series about his life.
Paulo Henrique Machado suffered from infantile paralysis brought on by polio in Brazil. His mother died two days after he was born.
But he wasn't alone.
"There was me, Eliana, Pedrinho, Anderson, Claudia, Luciana and Tania. They were here for a good length of time too, more than 10 years," Machado told the BBC.
But around 1992, many (members) of his hospital friendship group began to die.
"It was difficult," Machado said. "Each loss was like a dismembering, you know, physical… like a mutilation," he says. "Now, there's just two of us left - me and Eliana."
Doctors don't know why the pair outlived their peers. He says his relationship with Eliana Zagui is "like brother and sister" and that the pair fights pretty much every day.
"I think that's normal between brother and sisters or a couple. But it's not an argument where one side feels offended, you end up reflecting and think, 'OK, I forgive you'," Machado said.
Due to the risk of infection, they live in hospital. Machado estimates he has been out of the hospital about 50 times in his life. The most memorable being when he and Zagui got to experience the beach for the first time.
"I knew the beach only from photos, films, postcards, stories from other people - so I had built up an image in my mind of what the sea and the beach would be like," Zagui said. "They took us out of the vehicles, Paulo was in a wheelchair and they pushed my bed onto the sand."
Zagui, nicknamed Leca, is a published author and paints with her mouth. Machado has recently raised $65,000 to turn her book, "The Adventures of Leca and her Friends," into a stop-motion film series.
Nursing assistant Ligia Marcia Fizeto says she is amazed by what the pair has been able to achieve.
"My heart is full of happiness that he could achieve one of his objectives, which is to make a film. It's amazing where they've got to isn't it?"