“Real love, and the
ability to love somebody
as damaged as I was, that is a very rare and precious thing,” Reeve said of wife Dana’s devotion.
TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS/CORBIS OUTLINE
Dana Reeve had never spent such a long time – two months – away from her husband, actor Christopher Reeve, but this was the final weekend of her performing in Brooklyn Boy, a new play in Costa Mesa, Calif. The curtain had fallen on the Saturday evening performance, and soon she’d be returning to their home north of New York City. As the rest of the cast assembled at a little restaurant near the theater, Dana, 43, remained in her dressing room, answering an emergency call from one of the nurses who provided constant care for her husband, a quadriplegic since a horseriding accident in 1995.
Another actress from the cast, Mimi Lieber, found her there alone, "and she looked bad. She said in a very panicked voice, ‘Something’s wrong at home.’ He had already been taken to the hospital. She was trembling but she stayed focused. She asked, ‘Do I need to get a plane?’ And the nurse on the phone said yes. She asked, ‘Could he die?’ And the nurse said yes. And then she asked, ‘Do I need to call the kids?’ And the nurse said yes." Those were three questions that had never been answered in the affirmative in the nine years of many, many hospitalizations.