NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island woman reunited Wednesday with the doctor who helped her walk again.

Irene Smith hugged and thanked Dr. Mohammad Moussavi at Staten Island University Hospital.

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The 79-year-old suddenly developed numbness in her legs two years ago. She collapsed and became paralyzed from the waist down.

The doctor determined Smith suffered a spinal AV dural fistula, a rare malformation in the blood vessels in the spine.

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After two difficult operations, she is now back on her feet.

“If it wasn’t for his knowledge and his patience and his determination to make me a whole person again, I think he would have just given up,” Smith said.

“Once I saw her in the clinic, that she was able to stand up, I cried before she cried,” Moussavi said.

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Smith says at times, she moves around without a walker and can even dance.

CBSNewYork Team