ISSUE DATE: Aug. 26, 1996
Practically from the day he stopped moving, Reeve has not stopped moving. Thrown from his horse at the third jump during a riding competition in Culpeper, Virginia, on Memorial Day last year, he became a “C1-C2”; the designation refers to a paralyzing injury to the area between the first and second cervical vertebrae, between the neck and the brain stem. It’s called the “hangman’s injury” because the C1-C2 break is what happens when the trapdoor opens and the noose snaps tight. He says, “It was as if I’d been hanged, cut down and sent to rehab.”
After a few months in three hospitals, Reeve came to terms with his altered state. Determined to help both his own cause and that of all the 250,000 paralyzed people in the U.S., he launched a one-man publicity and lobbying campaign, with increasingly effective results.
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