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He was a hero in every sense of the word--the chiseled-from-granite star of four blockbuster Superman films and the romantic classic Somewhere in Time who, after being paralyzed in a freak horseback riding accident, became a symbol of hope for millions. Dana Reeve was no less heroic, standing steadfastly by her husband's side until his surprisingly sudden and unexpected death at age fifty-two. When Dana, a non-smoker, passed away from lung cancer just seventeen months after Chris's death, she left behind their thirteen-year-old son, Will, to be raised by friends and family. Dana was only forty-four years old.
That fate could have dealt such a cruel hand to this golden couple seemed unfathomable. That they could endure it all with grace, courage, and humor defied belief.
Yet for all the millions of words that have been written about their public causes and private struggles following Chris's accident, little is known about the lives they led as passionate young lovers. Now, in the manner of his poignant-yet-stirring bestsellers Jack and Jackie, Jackie After Jack, An Affair to Remember, The Day Diana Died, After Diana, and The Day John Died, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Andersen draws on those who knew them best to examine in touching detail the Reeves' unique partnership and the romance, faith, and fortitude that defined it.
Sometimes heartbreaking, often uplifting, always compelling, Somewhere in Heaven is more than just a portrait of a marriage. It is the profoundly human story of two souls whose brief lives made a difference, a bittersweet saga of tragedy, triumph, and loss, and--above all else--a love story for the ages.
June 20, 2008: The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a medical device tested about five years ago on actor Christopher Reeve to help him breathe without a ventilator. The implantable device, called NeuRx DPS RA/4 Respiratory Stimulation System and developed by Synapse Biomedical Inc. of Oberlin, Ohio, electrically stimulates the muscles and nerves that run through the diaphragm. It allows some spinal cord injury patients to breathe for at least four hours a day without a mechanical ventilator. Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down in a horseback riding accident in 1995. The "Superman" star received the experimental device in 2003, allowing him to breathe off a ventilator for about 15 minutes. Reeve later used it eight hours at a time and eventually was able to go up to 20 hours off a ventilator, said Synapse president and CEO Anthony Ignagni. Reeve died in 2004 after developing a bloodstream infection from a bedsore. The device does not cure paralysis of the diaphragm, but getting patients to be free from a ventilator may enhance their quality of life, said Dr. Daniel Schultz, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Read the complete article via the Associated Press.
June 24, 2008: Christopher Reeve appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1978 to promote "Superman: The Movie". The interview (shown below) sees Chris talking about bulking up for the role, the special effects, and the difference between playing Clark Kent and Superman.