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Paralyzed French Jockey Comforted by Campanella, Paralyzed Ex-Dodger

Dec. 27, 1963 - Claude Deleuze (left), a 26-year-old, 110-pound French jockey who was injured in a racing fall two weeks ago and is paralyzed from the waist down, received words of encouragement today in New York City’s Montefiore Hospital from a man who knew how he felt. Roy Campanella, who is also paralyzed from the waist down as a result of injuries suffered in an auto accident six years ago, joked with Deleuze. “Do you think I’d make a good jockey?” Campy asked. Deleuze said “No.” “Not even for an elephant?” Campanella quipped. A laugh forced its way from the throat of the smaller invalid. It was the first time since he was brought on a stretcher to the hospital Dec. 15 that Deleuze had laughed. “I’m glad you came,” the stricken jockey said. “I heard about your accident and how bravely you fought it. I wanted to meet you. It was very decent of you to do this.” “It’s nothing. I’m glad I came,” replied the former Brooklyn Dodger catcher. Later, Campanella recalled that Junius Kellogg, the former basketball star who sustained a spinal cord injury in a 1954 automobile accident that left him paralyzed, had inspired Campanella with a visit after his accident in January 1958. Now, it was Campy’s turn.


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