Superman actor Christopher Reeve's son to open spinal cord rehabilitation clinic

The Superman costume as worn by Christopher Reeve

The Superman costume as worn by Christopher Reeve

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The son of the late Superman star Christopher Reeve will open the country's first spinal cord rehabilitation clinic for paralysed children.

The actor's 38-year-old son Matthew will attend the official launch of Neurokinex Kids in Crawley, West Sussex, on Thursday (April 12).

The clinic is the first of its kind in the UK and is part of Neurokinex Gatwick - the only affiliation to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) outside the US.

Reeve won a Bafta for his role in the 1978 superhero film but was injured in 1995 after being thrown from a horse at an equestrian competition in Virginia.

He became quadriplegic, was confined to a wheelchair and relied on a portable ventilator for the rest of his life.

This prompted him to campaign for more support for those with spinal cord injuries and set up the foundation to help improve their health and quality of life.

Before he died aged 52 in 2004, he also lobbied for human embryonic stem cell research.

The £300,000 centre has the capacity to treat 20 paralysed children a day and pledges to use the latest scientific research to help them become more active.

Matthew Reeve, the foundation's vice chairman of international development, said: "Since its inception, the goal of the NRN has always been to develop cutting-edge treatments so individuals living with paralysis could recover functions once thought to be lost.

"This partnership with Neurokinex is the Reeve Foundation's first endeavour to establish a global network of rehabilitation facilities united under a common protocol.

"Every NRN participant has experienced significant improvements ranging from enhanced physical health and quality of life to standing and even stepping."

Someone is paralysed every eight hours in the UK, according to research the centre cites from BackUp Trust.