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Reeve's STL Doctor Thought Reeve was 'Invincible'

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Flowers left on Reeve's Hollywood Walk of Fame star (Reuters photo)

By Bill Raack, KWMU / NPR

St. Louis, MO – The doctor at Washington University in St. Louis who worked with Christopher Reeve says he thought the actor was invincible.

Reeve died Sunday from an infection related to the paralysis he suffered in a horseback riding accident in 1995. Dr. John McDonald helped Reeve regain some feeling seven years after the spinal cord injury. McDonald says Reeve's impact on science will be huge. "Once someone breaks that barrier, once it's demonstrated that it's doable, then people are willing to go after it," McDonald said Monday. "It's an accomplishable goal. People strive for it. And that, in the end, will really be the big thing and for individuals who are facing this, it really represents hope."

"You know, because he recovered the ability to feel and move throughout his body over five years out from his injury, which is something that previously had never been seen from any human being."

Reeve often made trips to St. Louis for evaluation and treatment. Three times, he headlined fund-raisers for the Gateway to a Cure Foundation.

McDonald also spoke with NPR's Melissa Block in an interview that aired on All Things Considered on Monday. He talks about Reeve's therapy, and the changes in spinal cord injury treatment since Reeve's injury.

To hear that interview, click here.

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