Medic (1954–1956)
2 user

Breath of Life 

Obsessively self-reliant Dr. Robert Parker faces an uncertain future and an extended period of reliance on an iron lung (and on other people) after he contracts a case of polio.


Ted Post


John Meredyth Lucas (teleplay), James E. Moser (creator) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Richard Boone ... Dr. Konrad Styner
Warren Stevens ... Dr. Robert Alan Parker
Jean Willes ... Catherine Parker
Danny Dayton ... Dr. Lusk (as Dan Dayton)
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Dr. Qualen
Jean Engstrom Jean Engstrom ... Blakeney
Roy Glenn ... Wright
Richard Nelson Richard Nelson ... Cliffton
Elizabeth Eden Elizabeth Eden ... Nurse
Jack Gardner Jack Gardner ... Attendant
Ruth Ackley Ruth Ackley ... Herself - Registered Nurse (as Ruth Ackley R.N.)


Obsessively self-reliant Dr. Robert Parker faces an uncertain future and an extended period of reliance on an iron lung (and on other people) after he contracts a case of polio.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 January 1955 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Medic Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Show aired originally on Jan. 24 1955.. few months later on April 12 1955 test results of the successful Salk Vaccine were announced. Virtually eliminating the dreadful disease of Polio. See more »


Dr. Konrad Styner: You have witnessed the treatment of the disease in its acute form. Actually, few polio victims suffer permanent disability. An extremely small percentage die. Although to date there is no cure, poliomyelitis will eventually be conquered. For any needless death represents defeat to a profession dedicated to life.
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User Reviews

The March of Dimes
15 June 2016 | by kapelusznik18See all my reviews

Timely "Medic" episode about the terrible scourge of Polio a paralyzing illness that was sweeping the country as well as the world back then in the early 1950's with one of its many victims Dr. Robert Alan Parker,Warren Stevens,stuck or laid up in an iron lung to keep him alive. Suffering from such severe depression that had Dr. Parker not feeling like a husband or even a man tells his suffering along with him wife Catherine,Jean Willes, that he's rather be dead or even, if he could, kill himself rather then to live like this.

We see Dr. Parker and the rest of the Polio patients in his hospital ward being treated for their illness that really does nothing for them then to just keep them alive and breathing. At the end of the episode Dr. Parker with the help of Dr.Lusk, Danny Dayton, is just about able to move his fingers and almost make a fist which was about the best that he could hope for with all the treatment and medication that he was getting. The future looked bleak for Dr. Parker and all those suffering from this terrible disease but as things soon turned in real life and a short time after this "Medic" episode was broadcast that in fact there was a light at the end of this very dark tunnel!

P.S Three months after this TV broadcast the Salk/Sabin Polio vaccine came into existence that in the end just about eradicated Polio within five years and saved the lives and health of countless Americans like Dr. Parker who up until then never had any hope to live a normal life again.

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