You are hereHuffington Post: Gabrielle Giffords Told By Husband She Was Shot

Huffington Post: Gabrielle Giffords Told By Husband She Was Shot


March 11, 2011- She can talk, even saying short sentences. With some help, she can walk. She also knows that she was shot.

But for doctors, some of the greatest moments in treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords occur when her true personality shines through and she shares big grins and excitement over milestones in her recovery from a devastating gunshot wound to the head.

"That's Gabby. It's a constant, wonderful thing," said Dr. Dong Kim, a neuroscientist.

Doctors provided the new details about Giffords' condition Friday, their first official update since she began intensive rehabilitation in Houston on Jan. 26. Until now, tidbits of information came from friends and family, but the doctors, those with the understanding and knowledge of what each setback and step forward means for long-term recovery, remained tight-lipped.

Kim and two other members of her medical team described several breakthroughs in Giffords' recovery from her brain injury, saying she has made "leaps and bounds."

He breathing tube was removed last week, a "fist-pump" moment, said Dr. Imoigele Aisiku, a neurosurgeon. She also can express desires, such as "I'm tired. I want to go to bed."

Giffords can't remember the shooting, but her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, has told her about the incident, though it remains unclear whether she knows six people were killed and 12 others injured at the Jan. 8 political event outside a supermarket in Tucson, Ariz.

The demeanor of the news conference was largely subdued – until the doctors were asked whether Giffords' personality was starting to surface. Then, the three men grinned and nodded simultaneously. They snickered with affection.

"She has a personality that's already showing through," Kim said. "She's very upbeat, focused on getting better. She hasn't shown us depression, and she's just been very forward-looking and even with the speech she's not showing much frustration."

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