Friday, January 21, 2011

Doctors in Houston Report Gabrielle Giffords Aware of Surroundings

At CBS News:

(CBS/ AP) Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords knows what's going on based on squeezing his hand the first day and going through streets of Tucson, said Dr. Randall Friese, Giffords' trauma surgeon at UMC in Tucson.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiled inside an ambulance as she heard applause during a dramatic send-off from her hometown Friday, and doctors say her transfer by jet and helicopter to a hospital in Houston went flawlessly.

"She responded very well to that - smiling and even tearing a little bit," said Dr. Randall Friese, a surgeon at the University Medical Center trauma center in Tucson. "It was very emotional and very special."

Friese and Giffords' doctors in Houston spoke Friday afternoon at a news conference at Texas Medical Center. Doctors say Giffords has a drain in her brain because of a fluid buildup, so she will stay for now in the ICU. She will be moved later to the center's TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation hospital.

Giffords still has a craniectomy, and it might be a month before her skull is shaped. Until then the Congresswoman will wear a specially measured helmet with the Arizona flag on it to protect her cranium.

"Whether she will form words, we will have to wait and see," said Dr. Dr. Dong Kim, a neurosurgeon at the hospital.

Dr. Kim also said Giffords is in the top 5 percent of what they would expect from a gunshot injury to the brain.
Also, at LAT, "Gabrielle Giffords Leaves Tucson."