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Reeve reports sensations in spine, arms, legs


May 16, 1997
Web posted at: 1:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT)

From Correspondent Dan Ronan

(CNN) -- Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a horse-riding accident two years ago, said he can now feel sensations in his arms, spine and legs. More than anything, he said, he wants to be able to hug his son again.

"I can feel his hand on mine. I can feel his arm on mine. A lot of times he climbs up into the bed, next to me, and he'll scratch the top of my head, or he'll just put his face against mine. I have all that feeling," Reeve said on Thursday's edition of CBS News' "48 Hours." icon (281K/25 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

"The thing that I want more, though, is to be able to put my arms around him. That's what he's entitled to. ... And I believe that day is coming."


The star of "Superman" films remains in a wheelchair and uses a ventilator to assist his breathing. But he said his condition has improved drastically in the past six months and that he can even feel sensations "all the way down to the base of my spine."

"Feeling in the base of the spine is really important. About six months ago, I couldn't feel down there," he said. icon (357K/30 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

Reeve, who more than a year ago told CNN's Larry King he would walk again, also reported sensations in his legs.

One of the nation's leading spinal cord injury doctors, Dr. Steve Kirshblum, says that with the progress being made in the field, Reeve and other quadriplegics could someday regain some use of their arms and legs.

"There are many things in medicine we cannot explain. Nor can we explain thoroughly that there are 1 percent of the people that convert from complete to incomplete status after a certain period of time," he said.

Reeve suffered a near-fatal injury when he was thrown from a horse during an equestrian event in May 1995. Since his condition stabilized, Reeve has maintained a busy schedule, directing films and campaigning for rights for the disabled.


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