Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Speaks, Asks for Toast With Breakfast

VIDEO: Rep. Gabby Giffords Speaks
Share
Copy

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has recovered enough to ask for toast with her breakfast.

The congresswoman, who was shot in the head at an event outside a Tucson grocery store on Jan. 8, made the request to hospital workers who delivered her meal on Monday at TIRR Memorial Hermann, the Houston rehab center where she is receiving occupational therapy.

Giffords spoke for the first time a few days ago and continues to talk "more and more," said C.J. Karamargin, a Giffords spokesman.

Dr. Steve Williams, chief and chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Boston University, told ABC News it's an encouraging sign.

"I think this is significant, as it tells us that congresswoman Giffords is able to speak and is able to have an opinion of what she wants to eat. It shows that she has initiation of original thought and is able to convey her wishes," Williams said. "I think this is a good sign that she is able to appropriately express herself. Appropriate expression is not always the case after a head injury. I think we could call this major progress in her recovery."

But Dr. John Whyte from the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute cautioned that "the pace of change is more informative than the status on a single day."

"The bottom line is that rather few patients even with significant language impairment are incapable of saying anything at all," Whyte said. "So it's the complexity, length, grammatical structure and fluency of language that are most informative."

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the one-month anniversary of the tragedy, Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, thanked everyone for their support and gave an update on Giffords' progress.

"It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot. The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process," Kelly wrote. "There are encouraging signs everyday though. Gabby's appetite is back and -- even though it's hospital food -- she's enjoying three meals a day."

Apparently, Giffords now is able to have a say in her meals. Giffords' words came just days after her husband announced his plan to go ahead and return to space in April.

"I ultimately made the decision that I would like to return and command STS-134," Kelly said at a press conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Friday. "I absolutely thought this was the right thing for me to do."

Kelly said the decision to leave his wife's side to fly the space shuttle Endeavour on its final mission was something Giffords would support.

"I know her very well and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made," Kelly said.

Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords

Kelly is scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center Florida on April 19. He will command a crew of six astronauts, delivering the last major component to the International Space Station. He said he believes Giffords will be able to see Endeavour go.

"I have every intention that she'll be there for launch. I've talked to her doctors about that," he said.

Kelly has been with Giffords for every step of her month-long recovery. She was nearly killed when she was shot in the head during a rampage in front of a Tucson grocery store on Jan. 8. Kelly was faced with a difficult choice -- stay with her, or resume training for the flight, possibly his last chance ever to fly in space.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...