The Unforgettable Tragedy: Christopher Reeve’s Paralyzing Accident

christopher reeve accident
christopher reeve accident

Christopher Reeve was an American actor best known for portraying Superman in films. On May 27, 1995, near Culpeper, Virginia, Reeve was in a terrible car accident. The accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that rendered Reeve quadriplegic for the rest of his life. He is one of the most well-known disabled people in the world. The following are the specifics of the accident that transformed Reeve’s life.

Christopher Reeve was killed in a horseback riding (Equestrian) accident. After learning to ride for the film Anna Karenina in 1985, he became fascinated with horseback riding. 1994 Reeve purchased a thoroughbred horse named ‘Buck’ to pursue his newfound love.

The horse was 12 years old when it was purchased. Reeve started training with Buck. His strategy was for him to compete in Training Level tournaments in 1995 and Preliminaries in 1996. But destiny had other plans for Reeve.

Reeve had signed up to compete in a Vermont event in May 1995. Still, his coach encouraged him to the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA) finals in Culpeper, Virginia instead. He arrived in Culpeper and joined 300 other bikers in the event.

christopher reeve accident

Christopher Reeve was allergic to horses. But he took antihistamines to overcome this issue and continue his Equestrian enthusiasm.

Christopher Reeve took part in a roadblock test near Culpeper on the afternoon of May 27, 1995. The horse and rider had to jump over many obstacles during the roadblock competition. Jumps 16 and 17 caused Reeve some concern. The third leap, a basic three-foot-three fence in the form of the letter “W,” escaped his attention.

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The horse stopped when Reeve, riding Buck, attempted to clear the third barrier. Reeve’s body lurched forward off the back of the horse due to this unexpected stop midway through the leap. That was the turning point.

Christopher Reeve fell to the ground headfirst on the opposite side of the fence. The incident crushed his C1 and C2 vertebrae. He sustained a cervical spinal cord injury; as a result, rendering him a neck-below paraplegic. He was transported by helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center. Christopher Reeve did not remember the accident at all.

Check out the official Facebook Post from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which was published on September 24, 2015-

Christopher Reeve’s Accident Video

We couldn’t find any reliable real-life video of the accident. However, a Dateline NBC video deeply explores the tragedy and its consequences. The NBC video is Here.

Reeve After the Accident

Author Christopher Anderson wrote in “Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve” that when Reeves learned the seriousness of his wounds, he wanted to “slip away” because he didn’t want to burden his family.

According to the book, Christopher Reeve’s wife, Dana Reeve, told him-

“I will support whatever you want to do because this is your life, and your decision. But I want you to know that I’ll be with you for the long haul, no matter what. You’re still you. And I love you.”

Dana also said tat “Hold on for two years, if you still feel this way two years for now we will reconsider this question.”

Following this, Christopher Reeve agreed to the procedure that ultimately saved his life. After the procedure, Christopher Reeve stayed at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey for over five months. He developed his motorized wheelchair operation skills during the rehabilitation procedure.

In his autobiography Still Me, Reeve wrote that he first struggled with accepting his condition. The reaction of survivors who develop disabilities is very typical and understandable. Reeve later started to perceive himself as a member of the disability community, nevertheless, thanks to the encouragement of his loved ones, friends, and supporters.

Have a look at the post that Today Show officially posted to pay tribute to Christopher Reeve on 10 Oct. 2017-

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Arun has three years of experience as a content writer, lives in Panipat, Haryana, and is pursuing a postgraduate degree in English literature. He is proficient in writing, editing, proofreading, content strategy, and cricket watching. Word from Arun: “Overpower. Overtake. Overcome.”