Reeve's Courage Inspires Others

Rehab became part of 16 year old Sean Thompson's daily routine after he broke his neck last July in a diving accident. At first he was paralyzed all over. Today he's healing. "I couldn't move anything. I have very little finger movement but today I moved my left leg for the first time."

Right after the accident Sean couldn't even feed himself. Now his therapists say he progresses more and more each day. The teen is determined to walk again. "I have my younger brother and I have a younger sister and my mom's havin' another baby and I definitely need to get out of the chair and walk again."

Unlike the late actor Christopher Reeve, Sean doesn't need a ventilator to breathe. But Sean shares Reeve's wish that some medical breakthrough will make recovery quicker for patients with spinal cord injuries. "I would hope there would be some sort of research found to help me get up and walk again," he says. Some people think that research begins with embryonic stem cells. Sean's neurosurgeon says despite the political controversy of such research, the patient's best interest has to come first. "Any type of research that can benefit these patients I'm certainly an advocate for. I try to stay out of the controversy regarding why or how these stem cells are obtained but certainly if you or a family member have an injury like this often times your view will dramatically change regarding this topic," says Dr. James Doty.