Posts Tagged ‘opens

13
Jan
11

‘giffords reaches ‘major milestone’ in recovery’

Washington Post: Doctors treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Thursday she has reached “a major milestone” medically with her ability to open her eyes and seemingly respond to her surroundings as she recovers….

In a news conference … the doctors said they were pleased that Giffords opened her unbandaged left eye “spontaneously” Wednesday night in response to the presence of friends from Congress….

G. Michael Lemole Jr., the hospital’s chief neurosurgeon, and Peter Rhee, the head of emergency care, said Giffords since then has also been able to sit on the edge of her bed and dangle her legs over the side, move both of her arms and legs and open both of her eyes.

“This is a major leap forward,” Lemole said. “This is a major milestone for her, and we’re hoping she crosses through many more.” Rhee said Giffords, 40, is “becoming more and more alert . . . and she’s making much more spontaneous movements as we have completely stopped all the medications that might blunt her mental status.”

“She’s starting to become aware of her surroundings,” Lemole said. “And that’s a very important step on her next move forward.”

…Giffords, who remains in critical condition, is one of five wounded patients who were still at the hospital Thursday morning. Rhee said four others are in fair condition. One is having surgery, and another is being discharged Thursday, he said. “Everybody is making fantastic forward progress,” Rhee said.

Full article here

13
Jan
11

courage

Representatives Gabrielle Giffords (left), Kirsten Gillibrand (center), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (right) in a photo taken in 2009

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz on visiting Gabrielle Giffords in hospital yesterday:

SENATOR GILLIBRAND: Well, we were very excited that we were even going to have the chance of getting to visit her hospital room…. we were telling her how proud we were of her and how she was inspiring the whole nation with her courage and with her strength. And then Debbie and I started joking about all the things we were going to do after she got better. And we were holding her hand and she was responding to our hand-holding. She was rubbing our hands and gripping our hands … we knew she could hear and understand what we were saying and she moved her leg, and so we knew she was responding. And the more we joked about what we were going to do, she started to open her eyes literally.

… her eyes hadn’t opened — we didn’t know that — and so she started to struggle. And one of her eyes is covered with a bandage because it was damaged in the gunfire. So her eye is flickering. And Mark sees this and gets extremely excited. … so he said, Gabby, open your eyes, open your eyes. And he’s really urging her forward. And the doctor is like perking up and everyone is coming around the bed. And she’s struggling and she’s struggling … maybe 30 seconds, where she’s really trying to get her eyes open….

And then she finally opens her eyes and you could she was like desperately trying to focus and it took enormous strength from her. And Mark could just — can’t believe it. I mean, he’s so happy. And we’re crying because we’re witnessing something that we never imagined would happen in front of us.

And so Mark says, he says — he said, Gabby, if you can see me, give us the thumbs up, give us the thumbs up. And so we’re waiting and we’re waiting and –

REPRESENTATIVE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And she didn’t at first.

SENATOR GILLIBRAND: … she’s really trying to focus … you could see she hadn’t opened her eyes in days. And then instead of giving the thumbs up, she literally raises her whole arm like this — like this. It was unbelievable. And then she reaches out and starts grabbing Mark and is touching him and starts to nearly choke him — she was clearly trying to hug him.

…. it was such a moment. And we were just in tears of joy watching this and beyond ourselves, honestly. And then Mark said, you know, touch my ring, touch my ring. And she touches his ring and then she grabs his whole watch and wrist. And then the doctor was just so excited. He said, you don’t understand, this is amazing, what’s she’s doing right now, and beyond our greatest hopes.

Full account of the visit here




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