Gabrielle Giffords Heads to Medical Facility in Houston, Texas

The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords left a Tucson hospital Friday and is being flown to a Houston rehabilitation center for her next steps in her recovery, less than two weeks after the congresswoman was shot in the head.

Well-wishers holding flags and signs that read “Get well Gabby” lined the ambulance’s route between the hospital and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where Giffords was loaded on a specially outfitted jet.

“We want to be here to help her and show her a good farewell, and hope that she has a great recovery,” said Al Garcia, a Marine veteran who came on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. “It’s through all of these prayers that she’s leaving in just two weeks.”

A gunman shot Giffords and 18 other people Jan. 8 as she met with constituents outside a grocery store in Tucson. Six people died; all other survivors have been released from the hospital. The suspect in the attack, Jared Loughner, 22, of Tucson, is being held in federal custody.

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10 Responses to Gabrielle Giffords Heads to Medical Facility in Houston, Texas

  1. Gabrielle Giffords ‘Even More Alert’

    HOUSTON — She inspired the nation with her fairy-tale recovery. Now Rep. Gabrielle Giffords must inspire herself through the ordeal of rehabilitation, and doctors say it’s likely to be the hardest work she’ll ever do.

    Just a couple of decades ago, rehab was little more than physical therapy for shuffling stroke victims and wheelchair-bound quadriplegics, a last resort after doctors had done all they could.

    Now it’s a sophisticated science at the forefront of treating people like Giffords, who was shot in the forehead two weeks ago while meeting constituents in Tucson. An early start on rehab is key to limiting permanent damage, and the Houston hospital where she will be treated uses high-tech tools to push the brain to rewire itself.

    The Arizona congresswoman arrived Friday at the Texas Medical Center, where she is expected to spend a few days in intensive care before moving to TIRR Memorial Hermann rehab hospital. Dr. Gerard Francisco, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said Saturday that she was “even more alert today” and progressing nicely with therapy.

  2. Security for Giffords keeps public at a distance

    The inspiring scene of crowds cheering U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she departed Tucson, Ariz., was not duplicated in Houston, where security measures have kept the public at a greater distance.

    Giffords left Arizona on Friday with a 12-motorcycle police escort cheered on by crowds of well-wishers. The congresswoman smiled and teared up at the outpouring of emotion, her doctor reportedly said.

    The scene was different in Houston, where three helicopters bearing Giffords and her entourage landed atop the Memorial Hermann tower on Friday afternoon, far from the view of observers on the ground.

    Giffords was then taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where she is expected to spend about a week before being transferred to The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Memorial Hermann, her doctors said on Saturday.

    Those milling around outside were left to gaze at the assorted television crews lining the sidewalk opposite the facility, each station having reserved a spot by marking its call letters on the sidewalk with electrical tape.

    This distance was deliberate.

    U.S. Capitol Police arrived on Thursday to secure the area around TIRR. Houston police also implemented a security plan for Giffords’ arrival, Chief Charles McClelland said. HPD declined further comment.

  3. Edward Lazarus says:

    So….in keeping with their usual “clASS act,” the right wing zealots waited a full week before suggesting that Giffords should “give up her congressional seat,” as her (losing) opponent, Jessie “Machine Gun” Kelly wonders if somehow he can get this position in ANY way other than being elected to it! (Maybe a target competition—crosshairs supplied by Palin, Inc. dealers in: ARMS AND MOTIVES).

    These are the same turds that allowed a mush-mouth racist…Strom “Help Me! My Daughter Is Black” Thurmond, to literally vegetate for almost 30 years beyond the usual shelf life of an ignorant southerner as he drooled on himself, required help in voting, stumbled along with one foot in the grave, all the while…no doubt…leaking in his adult Pampers…and God knows what else…and taking part in the lawmaking process of our country.

    I wish one of these right wing “holier than thou” hypocrites would produce a list of DEMOCRATS who called for Thurmond to “step down for the good of the country, etc, etc. along with documentation of those demands or “suggestions.”

    Meanwhile, I have a suggestion for these GOP stalwarts. Even if—GOD FORBID—Palin’s surrogate had managed to actually KILL Congresswoman Giffords, decent humans would keep their foul and fetid pie-holes shut….allowing the Democratic National Comm. to make such a decision. There are some “family” matters those with any common sense and decency will realize are “out of bounds.” Those who violate those boundaries do so for only a few reasons;
    1)—They are victims of their (GOP) environment where common sense and decency
    are relatively unknown phenomena
    2)—They were “home-schooled,” while kept under the watchful eye of those “black
    helicopters” rendering them uneducable.
    3)—Their parents were republicans. (In which case, they have answered the age-old question: “Must we visit the sins of the father on the son?”) To which I reply, “You’re goddamned right!”

  4. Giffords’ GOP Challenger: So, Can I Run Again Already?

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was successfully moved to a rehabilitation center in Houston today after a miraculous recovery since being shot in the head two weeks ago. While most politicians from both parties have hoped for a speedy recovery, some have questioned whether Giffords should be allowed to continue to hold her seat or be forced to vacate it since she is incapacitated — a question the Republican who challenged Giffords last year also appears to be asking. According to Arizona Capitol Reports (subscription-only newsletter), Jesse Kelly is so antsy to challenger her again, that he requested a legal inquiry as to whether he could run again if Giffords lost her seat:

    Attorney Lee Miller, who serves as legal counsel for the Arizona Republican Party, told our reporter Kelly’s campaign contacted him earlier this week to find out how the seat would be filled if Giffords couldn’t serve.

    The next day, the newsletter added:

    Yesterday’s item about Jesse Kelly exploring a special election for the CD8 seat in the wake of Giffords’ shooting created waves in Tucson political circles, one source from south of the Gila said today. ‘I think Jesse Kelly has more problems than just dealing with a Yellow Sheet story. It’s probably going to be picked up by Politico,’ said the source.

    The last time Kelly ran, the former Marine ran a campaign ad urging suporters to “get on target for victory in November.” “Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly,” it continued. (HT: Salon)

  5. Edward Lazarus says:

    I’m not sure if “ironic” is the right term, but it is a fact that from some of the most horrendous acts of mankind—(war)–comes the science and knowledge that allows for such innovation. From battlefield amputations in the civil war to the horrible brain injuries we hear of from roadside bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan, each individual disaster seems to lead to advancements in treating injuries that will be used in cases such as the Tucson shooting.
    Congresswoman Giffords may well have survived because of injury to some of our brave military. IF ONLY! If only our men and women could just come home….safely….to their families!

  6. Deputies used military first-aid materials to help save Tucson victims,0,318338.story

    Sheriff’s deputies who responded first had first-aid materials like those used by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, which helped save lives, authorities said.

    Reporting from Tucson — Pima County sheriff’s deputies responding to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had military-grade first-aid materials, which probably helped save the lives of some of the 19 shooting victims, authorities said Friday.

    The department held a news conference to tout the packages, which it distributed to deputies last June. Officials said they hoped other law enforcement agencies would start programs like theirs, which they say enables them to provide care in the critical minutes before ambulances arrive at shooting scenes.

    “Without this care it would have definitely been a different situation,” said Dr. Katherine Hiller, who treated the wounded in the emergency room at University Medical Center on Jan. 8. Thirteen survived, including Giffords. Six died.

    The deputies’ packages include a combat-grade bandage — sometimes referred to as an “Israeli bandage” — that can stanch massive bleeding, along with combat gauze and a pad that seals sucking chest wounds.

  7. Ametia says:

    Miracles every minute….. In less than two weeks, Gabby Giffords is discharged to Rehab. God is Merciful.

    Continued healing and prayers to her and all the families.

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