Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been in recovery since she was shot in the head on Saturday by accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner at a Safeway store in Tucson. The good news is that she’s been making huge progress since then, and doctors at University Medical Center remain optimistic about her ongoing recovery.
The New York Times reports that Giffords’ doctors say she can now keep her eyes open for up to 15 minutes at a time, and can move her legs and hands. She is still using a tube to help her breathe, as a precautionary measure, although she is able to breathe on her own.
While doctors call her progress “a major leap forward,” Giffords’ condition remains critical.
“I believe one day she will be able to think,” Dr. Rhee, head of trauma at the hospital, said. “What she will be able to do physically, it is too early to say.”
A reporter asked if her recovery could be called a miracle, and another of her doctors, Dr. Lemole, replied: “Miracles happen every day, and in medicine, we like to attribute them to what we do or what others do around us. A lot of medicine is outside our control. We are wise to acknowledge miracles.”
Loughner has been charged in federal court with shooting Giffords and four other federal employees. The NYT says he will likely face state prosecution for the other shootings.