News / USA

Congresswoman Giffords Continues to Show Dramatic Signs of Recovery

A poster outside of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords office in Tucson, Ariz., wishes her well, Jan 16, 2011
A poster outside of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords office in Tucson, Ariz., wishes her well, Jan 16, 2011
Greg Flakus

Doctors at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona say US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to show dramatic signs of recovery from the gunshot wound to the head she suffered on January 8.

Her condition has been upgraded from critical to serious. Six other people died and 12 others were wounded in the shooting incident at a Tucson shopping center.

Doctors treating Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continue to be impressed with the progress she is making, just a little over a week after having a 9mm bullet travel through the left side of her brain.

Over the weekend, surgeons treated a fracture to her right eye socket that resulted from the shooting trauma. They say that procedure went well, but it is too soon to say if she will regain normal sight as she heals.

But Chief neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole says he is impressed by Giffords' ability to sustain these operations and continue her recovery. "Within a few hours of the surgery she was waking up and through the weekend she came back to the same baseline she had before the surgery, that same level of interaction she has been having with us. That is all very good and, at this time, we are hoping to continue to tie up those loose ends and get her ready for that third phase of her care, the rehabilitation," he said.

Since the emergency surgery to save her life, doctors have been able to communicate with Giffords and she has been able to respond to their commands, lifting her arms and legs and giving a thumbs up sign in response to questions. She is unable to speak because of a feeding tube in her throat.

In an interview with the ABC Television network, Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said she had given him a neck massage over the weekend.

Dr. Lemole says such actions are promising signs of recovery.

"It does imply that she is recognizing him and that she is reacting perhaps in an old familiar way with him," he said. "All those higher, cognitive levels of function are at least somehow, somewhat preserved here."

Only around ten percent of people suffering gunshot wounds to the head survive and most of them have disabilities resulting from the damage to their brains. There have been some rare cases, however, in which victims go on to live normal lives with few lasting effects.

In other developments related to the shooting, police arrested one of the victims of the January 8 shooting, James Eric Fuller, on Saturday, after he threatened people at a televised townhall meeting. The self-described liberal who suffered wounds to his back and leg, blamed conservative politicians for inciting the gunman with their rhetoric.

Meantime, more information is coming forth about the alleged gunman, 22-year-old Jared Loughner. Former friends, teachers and employers are describing a man whose mental state apparently deteriorated over the past few years. They say he was a frequent player of video games and that he used marijuana and other drugs.

He also expressed hatred for former U.S. President George W. Bush and other government figures, although those who knew him say he was not involved in politics and did not appear interested in current affairs.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More