Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is being transferred to a Houston rehabilitation facility today, less than two weeks after she was critically wounded in the Tucson shooting rampage. On Thursday, the chief of neurology at University Medical Center, Dr. Michael Lemole, discussed Giffords’ progress.
Dr. Michael Lemole: "Well, we can tell very simple things. I think you’ve already heard reports she’ll scroll through her iPad and look at pictures. She’ll pick out different stuffed animals. She’ll interact with Mark in ways that were personal and intimate, even preceding this. So I think that’s the best way we can tell. There is no quantifiable way we can say that she’s registered the message as to what’s happened to her, but we do think that a lot of that is getting through."
Medical staffers also report Giffords was brought outside to a hospital deck for a moment of fresh air. Ahead of the transfer to Houston, Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, called his wife "a fighter."
Mark Kelly: "So, I’m extremely hopeful that Gabby is going to make a full recovery. I’ve told her that. She recognizes it. She’s a strong person, a fighter. I mean, she is a fighter like, you know, nobody else that I know, so I am extremely confident that she’s going to be back here and back at work soon. I’ve been telling the hospital staff that they should expect to see her walking through these halls and into the ICU within a couple months. I’m sure of that. So she’ll be back."