.- Despite being hospitalized for virtually his entire life as a result of childhood polio, Paulo Henrique Machado is achieving his dream of producing a 3D animation series for kids.
Machado, a film buff, has spent the last 45 years living at the Clinical Hospital of Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he suffers paralysis and needs an artificial respirator 24 hours a day.
In statements to the BBC, he recalled how he initially came to see the hospital as home.
“I explored up and down the corridors, going into the rooms of other children that were here - that is how I discovered my 'universe,'” he said. “For me, playing football or with normal toys wasn't an option, so it was more about using my imagination.”
Machado’s mother died when he was only days old. He contracted polio as an infant in the country’s last big outbreak.
At that time, doctors said children with polio were not expected to live past the age of 10. Machado watched many of this childhood friends die from the disease.
“Each loss was like a dismembering, you know, physical... like a mutilation,” he recounted. “Now, there's just two of us left - me and Eliana.”
He described his relationship with Eliana as being “like brother and sister,” describing her as his source of strength.
Doctors do not know how the pair survived. Neither can leave the hospital for an extended period of time, because this would expose them to infection. Machado said he has left the hospital just a few dozen times in his whole life.
“There are some (trips) which stand out, like seeing the beach for the first time when I was 32. I opened the car door and saw the sea and thought 'Wow! What is this!'” he recalled.
In May, Machado raised $65,000 in order to produce a 3D animated series entitled, “The Adventures of Leca and Friends,” based on a book written by Eliana. He has two computers installed in his room to create animation.
The series will tell the story of “Leca” and her companions, who go on adventures despite facing disabilities. Machado wanted to make the animation “attractive, not just colorful but full of the mischievous games that kids get up to.”
“I think my characters are realistic, because they come from someone who is disabled. I know [exactly] what the difficulties they face are,” he added.