Giffords standing up, using iPad, say docs

Mark Kelly, husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Just 12 days after she was shot in the head, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords can stand with assistance, has tried to speak and is using an iPad, doctors and her husband said on Thursday.

In a key turning point in the congresswoman’s recuperation, Giffords is to be moved Friday from the Tucson hospital where she has remained since the shooting to the TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation facility in Houston, Texas.

At a news conference in Tucson, doctors said she has come a long way in a short time given the severity of her injury.

“She is beginning to stand with assistance, she is scrolling through an iPad — these are all fantastic advances for her. They do show higher cognitive function,” said Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurology at UMC.

“I do want to caution … that she has a long road ahead of her,” he added.

Giffords was shot through the head on Jan. 8 when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of constituents gathered to meet her outside a Tucson supermarket. Six bystanders were killed, and 13 others were wounded.

Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, said at the news conference he is confident his wife ultimately will “make a full recovery.”

Kelly said he believes his wife already has tried to speak, but remains unable to do so because of the breathing tube inserted into her windpipe.


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