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Giffords Responsive, Following Commands

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Looks like she’s able to communicate non-verbally, and that’s actually pretty incredible considering the circumstances.

From NY Times:

TUCSON — Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was gravely wounded in a shooting rampage, remained in critical condition on Sunday but has been able to respond to simple commands, and her doctors described themselves as “cautiously optimistic.” […]

“Overall this is about as good as it’s going to get,” said Dr. Peter Rhee, the chief of trauma surgery at University Medical Center, where Ms. Giffords was brought by helicopter from the shooting scene outside a supermarket north of Tucson. “When you get shot in the head and a bullet goes through your brain, the chances of you living are very small and the chances of you waking up and actually following commands is even much smaller than that.”

Still, she has a long way to go…

The doctors said Ms. Giffords, 40, was in a medically induced coma but that they had awoken her several times to check her responsiveness. While the doctors described themselves as extremely pleased with the progress of her treatment, they cautioned that it was too soon to make any predictions. “This is very early in our course,” Dr. Rhee said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, what her deficits will be in the future or anything like that.”

The doctors said that brain swelling and other complications still posed large risks in the days ahead.

More as it develops…