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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Gabrielle Giffords could be released from hospital Friday

By Dana Hedgpeth and David Nakamura

TUCSON -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded in the Tucson shooting on Jan. 8, could be released from University Medical Center as early as Friday and moved to a rehabilitation facility, her doctors say

In a brief interview with The Washington Post late Tuesday, medical director Dr. Peter Rhee said: "Things are going as well as could be and she hasn't taken any steps backward."

Asked when she might leave the hospital to transfer to a rehabilitation center, Rhee said, "as early as Friday or as long as it takes for us to resolve whatever acute problems that may arise."

Giffords's office on Wednesday confirmed the news with this statement:

"The congresswoman is expected to move Friday, Jan. 21 to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston. But because this is a fluid situation, the exact day of the move will depend on the congresswoman's health.

'The congresswoman's family wants to ensure she receives the best rehabilitative care possible for her type of serious penetrating brain injury,' said Dr. Michael Lemole, one of the congresswoman's neurosurgeons at University Medical Center. 'As a result, they considered facilities around the country, including rehabilitation hospitals in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Houston.'

Mark Kelly, the congresswoman's husband, said he and Giffords' parents weighed many factors in making this decision. High among them was TIRR Memorial Hermann's relative proximity to Tucson and its outstanding reputation."

Rhee said Giffords is still at risk for such setbacks as infection or pneumonia.

Giffords is one of two shooting victims of the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six and left 13 injured who remains hospitalized. She is in serious condition, but doctors have said she is opening her eyes and responding to commands more frequently. Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said she gave him a neck massage recently.

According to the statement from Giffords's office, Kelly said, "I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting."

Meantime, the Pima County Sheriff's office released a statement to reporters Wednesday that it will no longer release any information related to the shooting because of a dispute with the Pima County Attorney's office.

Prosecutors have been concerned about evidence in the case being released publicly, which could influence potential jurors in the federal and state murder case against suspect Jared Lee Loughner, 22. Although sources have said the federal murder case against him likely will be moved to San Diego because of the publicity surrounding the case in Arizona, state murder charges, which could be filed in the next few weeks, could pave the way for a trial in the state. The Justice Department has said it will strongly oppose any motion to change the venue of the federal trial.

"Until further notice, due to a controversy between the Sheriff's Department and the County Attorney's office, no further information reference [sic] the January 8, 2011 shooting will be released," the Sheriff's office said in the statement.

Washington Post staff writer Philip Rucker contributed to this report.

By Dana Hedgpeth and David Nakamura  | January 19, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Amazing Grace. Truly amazing.

Keep fighting Gabby, there are
a few hundred million folks
praying for you.

Posted by: BluePelican | January 20, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

To share my story and to testify,in 1985,i was in an auto accident that left me brain damaged brain swelled, and doctors told my family that I'd be a vegtable for the rest of my life. I was in a coma for 3 weeks.Wheelchair,couldn't walk,the whole nine yards.One year later,Iwas in college on the Dean's List.So,don't ever underestimate what God can do!!I,like doctors have said about Giffords will never be 100%,but God Bless,you are blessed,and there is a reason.Ipray for you and your family, and everyone on planet earth.and,by the way,Mr. Giffords,Iheard you on the news this morning about forgiving the shooter;understanding that you can't at this time,but you said that within time thatgod would help you to do so.You are a good and strong man.God be with you and your family,

Posted by: carmenaz | January 20, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning,
what I already posted to the President on facebook is quite wonderful.
`Time is in your side´.
You are wonderful, Gabrielle!
Thank you!
Pete J. Probe

Posted by: probeloy | January 20, 2011 1:21 AM | Report abuse

@houstonian

Your comments are a testament to America's freedoms. You're free to make a fool of yourself, and you did.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | January 20, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Houstonian,

I'm sure your expertise in the ER and as a neurosurgeon prompted you to post your drivel.

As for DebraJMSmith, I'd suggest taking the plank out of your own eye before you assist others in their faith journey.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | January 19, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Great news Hang in there Rep Giffords

Posted by: jws2346 | January 19, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Great news Hang in there Rep Giffords

Posted by: jws2346 | January 19, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

It is so wonderful to hear how great Rep Gabby continues to heal. She and her husband continue to be in my prayers. Thank God for his grace.

Posted by: netstoy | January 19, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I am just stunned by some of these comments. Here is a woman whose life is permanently altered by a horrific act, and people are referring to Giffords' "tyrannical behavior" (someone who identifies herself as a Christian???) and someone else says she should just go right back to DC where she can fit in "with the rest of the dems." I guess your only goal is to spread hate. You must not have read your New Testaments very well.

Posted by: NotGoingtoTakeItAnymore | January 19, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

One of the worst things about surgery is that they'll stick a breathing tube down your neck in a second ~ and you'll pay for that for days afterwards.

This poor woman had that breathing tube down her throat for several days.

It will take a good while before she even feels like talking, or can.

And regarding where that bullet went, she had bone fragments in her eyesocket ~ bet they clamped her head down tight when they went after that ~ and take it from me that "clamp mark" is going to hurt for two months ~ the surgeons love to hold on tight any time they screw with anything near or involving your eyeball!

I give her 6 months to get back to the House. Hopefully by that time she'll have come to her senses, repented of her sins and become a good, hardcore Republican.

Posted by: muawiyah | January 19, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

If she's relocating to Houston, then a full recovery to 100% of her capability on the morning of Jan. 8 is not likely. I'm not urging people to bet against her. I hope for the best. Relocating a member of congress outside his or her district for recovery isn't what one would expect.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 19, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Seems like one poster has taken on multiple handles. And they are a conspiracy buff to boot. How about that.

Posted by: gripper | January 19, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Starkville | January 19, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that Loughner's most-noticeably-strange behaviors happened after he was rejected by the Army (for giving a truthful answer to their question about his use of drugs).

I have no doubt that the spooks who then recruited, trained, and handled this rookie assassin also had the wherewithal to "bug" all communications between Roll and Gifford and knew that they were planning to meet each other at the shopping center on January 8 to, among other things, discuss his burgeoning caseload problem.

Of the six who were killed outright, Roll was a key player in the open borders controversy (the Brady Bill is essential to all levels of enforcement). Zimmerman was Gifford's ranking staff member for community outreach. The other four fatalities--Stoddard, Morris, Schneck, and the schoolgirl--were obviously collateral damage-- targets of opportunity-- to try and make it look like 'random shooting by deranged individual' that was to be their cover story.

Renegade spooks dedicated to keeping the Mexican border open to fellow gangsters and terrorists have much to gain by eliminating people like Giffords and Roll.

The role of Pam Simon and Ron Barber, two other Congressional staffers wounded in this operation, have not been released, nor has the media released names of the other four targets who were still in the hospital, but I suspect that since Roll sacrificed his own life in order to save Barber's, this individual is still a priority target right now as a key resource person for effective immigration reform.

I doubt that there was either irony or coincidence in the fact that the picked assassin also lived in Roll’s neighborhood for this the first of Gifford's community outreach events of the new year. Gifford was instrumental in forcing them to send national guard troops to the Mexican border, which marked her for assassination, and Roll's well-known ability to provide effective immigration enforcement also marked him for death.

I doubt if steel jacketed armor-piercing ammo was available for the 9mm handgun he was using, but if so, the fact that the police delayed him enough to make him go the rest of the way by taxicab might explain why the bullet didn't explode on contact with Gifford's skull, making a clean exit that has enabled her to survive.

Posted by: thomasbleser | January 19, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

May she enjoy a peaceful and speedy recovery and a return to a full and normal life, as normal as one can have after going through something like this.

Posted by: ronjeske | January 19, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

houstonian, I think you have waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on your hands. Go volunteer somewhere. Get out of the house. Anything!

Posted by: nomorewholefoods | January 19, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Our prayers are with you and your family and wish you a speedy recovery. Rest well and know the whole nation is with you. God Bless

Posted by: DMHE | January 19, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The mean spirit displayed by some posters here is appalling.
"Rethink her tyrannic behavior and cause her to realize that we are a free people, not subjects to be ruled over."
"Different reports are now coming out about the serious of Gifford's injury. Some in the MSM is calling it a gunshot wound to the head."
If you knew Representative Giffords well enough to make statements like this based on your direct knowledge, you probably wouldn't make them. And you wonder why people get tired of your ranting?

Posted by: jlhare1 | January 19, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

well Palin could now breath a sign of relief of NOT be charged of 'first degree murder' and the Dem will now have to go back fishin for some other'name blamin reason so that they can secure another term for bo.

Posted by: somers91 | January 19, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

well Palin could now breath a sign of relief of NOT be charged of 'first degree murder' and the Dem will now have to go back fishin for some other'name blamin reason so that they can secure another term for bo.

Posted by: somers91 | January 19, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Just to offer up prayers for her recovery. It would be a miracle if she came back 100%, but her recovery so far as been encouraging. And forget the politics. This is all about a decent woman's life.

Posted by: RobbyS | January 19, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I wish her well and am continuing to pray for her. However, I am also praying that this ordeal will make her rethink her tyrannic behavior and cause her to realize that we are a free people, not subjects to be ruled over.

I hope that it also makes her realize that there are people out there with just enough "crazy" in them to do such awful things and that congress should have armed security at such events, not only to protect members of congress but just importantly, to protect the people attending the events.

Debra...
Journalist at "Informing Christians" online

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | January 19, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

alberch - "It would seem that there is a video showing the attacks. If so and the pictures are clear just convict the scumbag and be done with it.
America can ill afford to throw tax dollars both state and federal on such an obvious criminal act.
The death penalty would also save $."

The news reports said that "up to 250 heroic agents of the FBI are now investigating this", and that the change of venue trial will cause millions to be transferred from taxpayers to lawyers.

I agree. Enough evidence exists right now to seat a jury that should convict hours after his defense lawyer finally shuts her mouth.
Offer the scumbag a deal. Plea and get life without parole at SuperMax, or risk the death penalty in a Tucson not Fed trial, for the 6 killed.

These days in America, financially constrained and piling on debt - the only people that continue to insist that money is no object and they are entitled to get whatever "is right" are:

1. Lawyers touting our "envy of the world, cost is no object, legal system" mandates hefty lawyer stipends.
2. Obama's travel and entertainment director.
3. Military porkbarrel lobbyists saying whatever military or homeland defense demands, they should get.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 19, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't think she'd be saddened that people started standing up to you right wing fascist hate mongers.
The actual quote FROM HER in response the Palin's crosshairs on her district and her "reload" commend was "you have to realize when you do things like this there are consequences"
Damn right

Posted by: fedup65 | January 19, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

How does someone become as cold and heartless as one fellow posting here? How do we deal with cruel people like him/her?

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 19, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Different reports are now coming out about the serious of Gifford's injury. Some in the MSM is calling it a gunshot wound to the head. Didn't any flags go up when it was reported Gifford's was up and giving back rubs to her husband. A gunshot to the head is totally different then being shot in the brain. If it comes out that it was all a con about where Gifford's was shot so that the Democrats could harp on civility and attack Palin, Rush, Hannity and freedom of speech, then that will be the final nail in the coffin for the Democrats and the MSM. I believe it's time to clear this up.
Posted by: houstonian
=========================
The Left loves to pose as fake Vietnam Vets, war heroes, arch conservatives saying stupid things.
This smells of a Lefty or Jewish progressive professional activist trying to be clever.
Push the buttons. Palin, Rush, idiot Hannity. Sign it as from the nexus of Southern evil "the houstonian".
Anchor it with a deliberately stupid claim Giffords was shot in the head, but no brain tissue was danaged by a round that went through her lower forehead and out the back of her skull.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 19, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

She'll certainly be saddened to know that her near-death caused people to blame Sarah Palin for about a week and then resulted in nothing else.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 19, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish every bit of good fortune to Giffords recovery, AAAAAND!!! to all the other wounded victims whose lives are of equal value as the Congesswomans but rarely mentioned by the media.

That said, wishes the Congresswoman have an optimal recovery stand in stark contrast to the ill-wishers that had to push their "hateful rhetoric" towards Dick Cheney when he said he may need a heart transplant some day.

The Left is worse at this than the far Right. Even the exploitative pillorying of "hateful speech of the Right Wing" they indulged in right after the shooting was little more than gussed up, hateful blood libel. Even Obama saw the Left was damaging the Dems by that tactic, and had to tell them to shut up.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 19, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Different reports are now coming out about the serious of Gifford's injury. Some in the MSM is calling it a gunshot wound to the head. Didn't any flags go up when it was reported Gifford's was up and giving back rubs to her husband. A gunshot to the head is totally different then being shot in the brain. If it comes out that it was all a con about where Gifford's was shot so that the Democrats could harp on civility and attack Palin, Rush, Hannity and freedom of speech, then that will be the final nail in the coffin for the Democrats and the MSM. I believe it's time to clear this up.

Posted by: houstonian | January 19, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What if she pulled the ol Phineas Gage personality change and switched from a liberal to a conservative?

Posted by: ozpunk | January 19, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

englundc: Dude, weak!! Have a heart.

An.innocent.person.got.shot.in.the.head.

Somebody's daughter, wife, mother.

Posted by: enogabal | January 19, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

englundc: Dude, weak!! Have a heart.

An.innocent.person.got.shot.in.the.head.

Somebody's daughter, wife, mother.

Posted by: enogabal | January 19, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

She should go right back to washington. She'd still right in with the rest of the dems.

Posted by: englundc | January 19, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

She should go right back to washington, she's still fit right in with the rest of the dems.

Posted by: englundc | January 19, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Like all Americans we wish Gabby a speedy recovery and pray daily for her and her family and all where were injured or killed by this crazed gunman. As for the Hospitials Her husband will make the choice he thinks best for his family and we as citizens will support him in his decision. I hope she makes a full recovery and is able to retain here seat. All politicas aside we, as a nation, stand in support of her.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | January 19, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Odd how the Justice Dept said it would fight a change of venue. I thought the Justice Dept was supposed to uphold justice, not play to the public?

Posted by: Maddogg | January 19, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the repeats on my previous message - the button didn't respond right away.

Posted by: John_D | January 19, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The choice of Houston makes sense, as that is where her husband works. No doubt, Houston has considerable expertise in rehab - of necessity.

Still no news about her speech capabilities at this point, which is cause for concern. Hopefully, they are just waiting for a more complete assessment and for some further progress.

Here's wishing her all the best as she recovers more fully.


Posted by: John_D | January 19, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The choice of Houston makes sense, as that is where her husband works. No doubt, Houston has considerable expertise in rehab - of necessity.

Still no news about her speech capabilities at this point, which is cause for concern. Hopefully, they are just waiting for a more complete assessment and for some further progress.

Here's wishing her all the best as she recovers more fully.


Posted by: John_D | January 19, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The choice of Houston makes sense, as that is where her husband works. No doubt, Houston has considerable expertise in rehab - of necessity.

Still no news about her speech capabilities at this point, which is cause for concern. Hopefully, they are just waiting for a more complete assessment and for some further progress.

Here's wishing her all the best as she recovers more fully.


Posted by: John_D | January 19, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that there is a video showing the attacks. If so and the pictures are clear just convict the scumbag and be done with it.
America can ill afford to throw tax dollars both state and federal on such an obvious criminal act.
The death penalty would also save $.
Have the trial in Tucson-who hasn't heard about it anyway?

Posted by: alberch | January 19, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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