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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Gabrielle Giffords sedated, has responded to simple commands

By Rachel Weiner

Doctors say they are "cautiously optimistic" about the recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) after Saturday's tragic shootings. Michael LeMole Jr., chief of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona and Peter Rhee, the university's trauma director, told reporters early Sunday afternoon that Giffords was responding to simple commands.

Giffords has been put in a medically-induced coma, doctors said. However, the doctors said that they have been waking her periodically to test her brain function.

Right now, the biggest threat to Giffords' life is brain swelling, according to the doctors. Half of her skull has been removed to take away pressure on the brain. They will reattach her skull when the swelling has died down, which could take months.

"She can't open her eyes at this point, and she's on a ventilator so she can't speak. But she is able to move her hands. That implies a very high level of function in the brain," Rhee said.

"Things are going very well, we're very happy at this stage," he added. The doctors emphasized, however, that it was "not productive" to try and predict when Giffords would make a full recovery. "It's still very precarious at this time," Rhee said.

"Bleeding was not severe or excessive," LeMole said. We are "cautiously optimistic."

The bullet went through the left side of the brain but did not move from one hemisphere to the other. "This is about as good as it's going to get," LeMole said. The left side of the brain controls speech and simple commands, so the fact that Giffords can respond is a very good sign, the doctors said.

By Rachel Weiner  | January 9, 2011; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Jared Loughner's college instructor: I was worried he might have a gun in class

Comments

Seems to me Sarah Palin and her supporters in the New American Fascist Party are advocating the overthrow of the Government by force and violence. The result? Attacks on constitutionally elected legislators, the murder of Federal Judges. Who provides the funds for their propaganda efforts? Who are the rightwing extremists and their fellow travelers?

Why do they hate America??? These terrorists and their sympathizers need to be held to account!

Posted by: thebobbob | January 9, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"...AZ is bloody because of our current WH who will not protect your boarders, and filed suit against its own. Those are the ones to blame. The truth we need not lies as we have had. Mercy

Posted by: drdavisdr | January 9, 2011 1:32 PM
===============================
The disingenuous MFs! Like everything was A-OK under George Bush and A "Black Muslim" is elected, and look! Problems!

It was the Republicans who first gave amnesty to the migrants. Perhaps you want to blame that on the Commie Pinko Black Muslim Barack "Hussien" Obama!

Posted by: kishorgala | January 9, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Good news for everyone except Tea baggers...

Posted by: WmLaney"

Mr. Laney, you are an insensitive fool. I am not a Tea Party member, but I agree with most of what they stand for. I don’t think that you will find many Tea Party members celebrating this awful event. Does your reply conversely mean that you would celebrate the shooting of a Tea Party member?

I listened to Gabrielle on NPR just a few days ago. She was a bright, respectful and polite speaker. Even though I am a conservative, I connected with her message. I am saddened that I may never be able to hear her again. I hope I am wrong. I am sure most conservatives will agree with me that her family and our country has suffered a great loss.

My prayers go out to her and her family.

Posted by: WIreader1 | January 9, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"Good news for everyone except Tea baggers...

Posted by: WmLaney"

Mr. Laney, you are an insensitive fool. I am not a Tea Party member, but I agree with most of what they stand for. I don’t think that you will find many Tea Party members celebrating this awful event. Does your reply conversely mean that you would celebrate the shooting of a Tea Party member?

I listened to Gabrielle on NPR just a few days ago. She was a bright, respectful and polite speaker. Even though I am a conservative, I connected with her message. I am saddened that I may never be able to hear her again. I hope I am wrong. I am sure most conservatives will agree with me that her family and our country has suffered a great loss.

My prayers go out to her and her family.

Posted by: WIreader1 | January 9, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

zoezoe123 - My my, you state that Bill O'Rielly is anti government? This is a most pathetic statement. For Bill is far from anti government. He is one of the most profound believers in and of this country there is. AZ is bloody because of our current WH who will not protect your boarders, and filed suit against its own. Those are the ones to blame. The truth we need not lies as we have had. Mercy

Posted by: drdavisdr | January 9, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

It is about time we took these people seriously.

When they say they'll use bullets if the ballots don't work for them, they mean it!
And with the likes of the Wicked Witch of the West Gov. Brewer at the helm, the Home-grown Terrorist Extremists of America are only emboldened!

It almost sounds like Brewer has set up a special force outside the judicial system to dole out "justice." Remember the Michael Douglas movie "The Star Chamber?"

Posted by: kishorgala | January 9, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Praise God, Praise God, she is still with us and with signs of recovery. Oh God we ask that you pour out your healing powers upon Gabrielle's wound, God give us a miracle which only you can do and bring her back to us as she was. Oh Lord we give you all the praise and the glory in the precious name of Jesus we pray AMEN and Amen..

Posted by: drdavisdr | January 9, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Which forces the broader question, despite one’ s political leanings, are we now to be wary of those individual­s who differ with a point of view to the point of violence? If history is a guide- it seems yes ( from the civil war in the 1860′s, the assassinat­ions of various US presidents­, the violent usurping of student protests in the 60 and 70′s fighting for civil rights and our pull out from Vietnam). As much as we prefer open discussion and gentleman discussion­s on night time TV that (cynically­) entertains us and relieves us personally of having to force change in society it has often come down in history to violent confrontat­ions, the pitting of entrenched interests and those who seek justice. 

Although Jared Lee Loughton was seeking justice in his own eyes, he has only ended up committing violent and reprehensi­ble damage, one has to wonder – has American politics now come down to physical confrontat­ions, the actions of a supposed single ‘mad man’ in this instance or the logical extension of polemical politics in America laden with distrust, unease, smear campaigns, acts of vandalism or perhaps anti government rhetoric that have gone from your Bill O Reilly TV room to your bloody Arizonian Saturday morning shopping mall?

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/01/the-violent-arrival-of-polemic-politics-arizona-and-beyond/

Posted by: zoezoe123 | January 9, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Which forces the broader question, despite one’ s political leanings, are we now to be wary of those individual­s who differ with a point of view to the point of violence? If history is a guide- it seems yes ( from the civil war in the 1860′s, the assassinat­ions of various US presidents­, the violent usurping of student protests in the 60 and 70′s fighting for civil rights and our pull out from Vietnam). As much as we prefer open discussion and gentleman discussion­s on night time TV that (cynically­) entertains us and relieves us personally of having to force change in society it has often come down in history to violent confrontat­ions, the pitting of entrenched interests and those who seek justice. 

Although Jared Lee Loughton was seeking justice in his own eyes, he has only ended up committing violent and reprehensi­ble damage, one has to wonder – has American politics now come down to physical confrontat­ions, the actions of a supposed single ‘mad man’ in this instance or the logical extension of polemical politics in America laden with distrust, unease, smear campaigns, acts of vandalism or perhaps anti government rhetoric that have gone from your Bill O Reilly TV room to your bloody Arizonian Saturday morning shopping mall?

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/01/the-violent-arrival-of-polemic-politics-arizona-and-beyond/

Posted by: zoezoe123 | January 9, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Good news for everyone except Tea baggers...

Posted by: WmLaney | January 9, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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