Paralysed actor regains feeling in his spine

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The Independent Online
Paralysed actor regains feeling

in his spine

It would have made a dramatic headline in the Daily Planet - "Superman recovers from paralysis".

Two years after a horse-riding accident paralysed the Hollywood actor Christopher Reeve - best known for his portrayal of the comic-book superhero and his alter ego, Planet reporter Clark Kent - he has regained some sensation in his spine.

Reeve, 45, said he has feeling "all the way down to the base of my spine ... About six months ago, I couldn't feel down there".

In an interview to air tomorrow in the United States on the television network CBS, as part of a programme in which medical researchers will reveal that they are close to a cure for paralysis, he said his main desire is to hug his son, Will.

"That's what he's entitled to," Reeve said. "And I believe that day is coming."

The actor also admitted that he cries daily to fend off the despair of being in a wheelchair. "In the morning, I need 20 minutes to cry. To wake up and make that shift, you know, and to just say - 'This really sucks'."

The accident, on 27 May 1995, almost killed Reeve. He fractured the first and second cervical vertebrae in his neck; damage, experts say, that usually kills people at the scene of the accident by causing the nerves that supply the diaphragm to malfunction, halting breathing.

Matthew Brace