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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Paralysed actor can move toes
Christopher Reeve in 1996
The Superman actor was paralysed in a riding accident
Actor Christopher Reeve, best known for his Superman films, can now move some fingers and toes after being paralysed in a horseriding accident in 1995.

The star can feel a pin prick over most of his body and can distinguish between hot and cold, and sharp and dull sensations.


Even if your body doesn't work the way it used to, the heart and the mind and the spirit are not diminished

Christopher Reeve
His doctors said the progress could one day lead to a full recovery, something Reeve has always said would happen.

The actor, 49, told People magazine, in the US, that he could feel the hugs of his wife, Dana and his three children again.

Great progress

"To be able to feel just the lightest touch is really a gift," he told the magazine.

His doctors said Reeve had already made great progress.

"No-one who has suffered an injury as severe as Chris's and failed to have any initial recovery has regained the amount of motor and sensory function he has," said Dr John McDonald, from the Washington University School of Medicine.

The actor has spent about 280,000 a year in medical bills and has been hoping stem cell research will one day aid his recovery.

Goal

His therapy has included a combination of electrical muscle stimulation and repetitive motion exercises to help restart his motor skills.

Reeve had always hoped to be able to walk by his 50th birthday, later this month, but now he recognises he will will not achieve that goal.

But he remains optimistic about the future.

"The fact is that even if your body doesn't work the way it used to, the heart and the mind and the spirit are not diminished. It's as simple as that."

See also:

24 Feb 02 | Health
01 Mar 02 | Newsmakers
23 Jan 00 | Entertainment
30 May 01 | Health
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