An Interview With Francesco Clark of ‘This Emotional Life’

BY Hari Sreenivasan  January 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM EST

Seven and a half years ago, Francesco Clark survived a tragic swimming pool accident that severed his spinal cord and left him paralyzed. While it took him a long time to overcome a deep depression, he is getting stronger by the day. He was recently profiled on the PBS documentary “This Emotional Life” — partly for his resilience and also because of how he has seized an opportunity he never would have seen coming.

Clark spoke with the Rundown today from his home in Bronxville, N.Y.:

Because Clark lost the ability to sweat after suffering nerve damage, he ended up creating an elixir of sorts to heal his damaged skin. Over time, that combination of natural products turned into the basis for a skin-care product line and company called [Clark's Botanicals](http://www.clarksbotanicals.com/). He is now the president of the company. A combination of aggressive non-traditional and intensive daily therapy along with experimental science and an incredibly optimistic attitude continue to produce slow but remarkable improvements in his body. He is now an ambassador for the [Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation](http://www.christopherreeve.org), following in the footsteps of Superman.