Gabrielle Giffords' Recovery: Nation Pulls for Congresswoman

Mark Kelly holds the hand of his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wifeâ??s hand at her bedside Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, in the congresswomanâ??s room at University Medical Center. Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords's husband Mark Kelly holds her hand.
Gabrielle Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, holds her hand at her bedside Jan. 9, 2011 in the congresswoman's room at University Medical Center. (Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)


(CBS) We continue to hear about hopeful signs of recovery from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. We learned from President Obama last night, that the Congresswoman opened her left eye during a visit from congressional friends.

Today, doctors tell us that she has been able to open both eyes and they report she has been moving both her right and her left legs and arms. This is significant since brain injuries often leave a patient with impaired function on the opposite side of the body from where the brain was damaged. In the Congresswoman's case the bullet struck the left side of her brain which, as well as controlling the muscles on the right side of the body, controls the speech centers.

Doctors don't know yet if he shooting has impacted Giffords' ability to speak. She still has a breathing tube and doctors say removing that is the next big hurdle they are looking to overcome. The congresswoman has gotten some early physical therapy. Doctors have set her up on the edge of the bed and are hoping to get her into a chair as soon as tomorrow.

As optimistic as the reports have been, there is still a long road ahead for Congresswoman Giffords. Gunshot wounds to the brain are complex injuries. Those lucky enough to survive often face long rehabilitation and neurological complications may plague them for years to come. But by all indications, Congresswoman Giffords has the will to pull through. She's getting spectacular medical care from superb doctors and nurses at UMC and she's got a nation pulling for her too.


  • Jennifer Ashton

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