The New York Times Editorial Desk "Reeve's Surgery" - March 25, 2003
To the Editor:
Re "Reeve Is Waking Up to Smell the Coffee Again, and More" (news article, March 14), about my surgery to have electrodes implanted to assist and strengthen my breathing:
Whenever such medical victories are reported, it is important to appreciate that they do not come easily.
In the case of my surgery, the foundation for this procedure was laid in the 1970's and nurtured over the years by federal research support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies in partnership with engineering and medical schools.
The diaphragm-pacing system is one of many research triumphs involving functional electrical stimulation that have resulted from the often overlooked V.A. rehabilitation research program, collaborating with academic partners like Case Western Reserve University, the National Institutes of Health and others.
Research investments that began long ago are about to bear fruit. We will ensure the viability of such programs that benefit so many only by recognizing the contributions of all.
Bedford, N.Y., March 21, 2003
Published: 03 - 25 - 2003, Late Edition - Final, Section A, Column 5, Page 16