Doctors give Giffords “100% chance” of survival

posted at 12:55 pm on January 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

This may be the best news we’ll hear all day.  Doctors are so pleased with the progress of Gabrielle Giffords that the trauma specialist in charge of her care gives her a “100% chance” of survival.  Recovery will still take a long time, however, and it will depend on what happens today, when dangerous swelling in the brain would normally peak:

Physicians at the University of Arizona Medical Center issued their most optimistic assessment yet of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s condition, with trauma specialist Dr. Peter Rhee telling a British television station that she was “100 percent likely to survive” after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head on Saturday.

“As a physician I’m going to get into a lot of trouble for this, but her prognosis for survival is 100 percent, as far as it being short term,” he said. “Hopefully she’ll live to be 95 years old.”

I doubt that anyone will fault Dr. Rhee’s optimism.  Rhee has seen his share of gunshot cases as a surgeon in war zones, so his expertise in this prediction is based at least in part on his lengthy experience on these kinds of injuries, even if perhaps also based on the same hope the rest of us want to have.  Today, however, will be a difficult day for Giffords:

And Dr. Michael Lemole, the head of neurosurgery at the hospital, told the CBS “Early Show” that Tuesday could be a crucial day in determining whether the congresswoman would escape potentially damaging swelling of the brain.

“It’s one of the typical landmarks that we watch very closely, because in a lot of people, this is the maximum day of swelling,” said Lemole.

In other words, this is still a time for prayer, for Giffords and the rest of the wounded, as well as the families of those murdered in this senseless attack.


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Wonderful news. Best of luck to her.

rbj on January 11, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Great news. I hope she can recover enough to maintain a good quality of life.

portlandon on January 11, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Miracle.

The Mega Independent on January 11, 2011 at 12:58 PM

So she has a 100% chance of survival but, oh yes, her brain could still swell, she could still contract an infection, and she’s just now able to breathe on her own.

That’s a ballsy prediction, doc.

amerpundit on January 11, 2011 at 12:58 PM

This may be the best news we’ll hear all dayweek.

I think.

the_nile on January 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Good news but this doctor is letting his new found celebrity go to his head.

Stay off the boob Doc and get back to work.

Knucklehead on January 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

In other words, this is still a time for prayer, for Giffords and the rest of the wounded, as well as the families of those murdered in this senseless attack.

I pray for the speedy recovering of all the victims especially now that Barrack “bad luck” Obummer is going to Tucson.

julian on January 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Excellent news. Keep fighting Gabby.

Equality 7-2521 on January 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

good work men. Keep doing that.

ted c on January 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Good news but this doctor is letting his new found celebrity go to his head.

So we’re criticizing life-saving brain surgeons now?

YYZ on January 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

This is wonderful news, and I am truly grateful.

Cody1991 on January 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Stay off the boob Doc and get back to work.

Knucklehead on January 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

In defense of the doctor, there is a great deal of public interest in the Congresswoman’s condition and we prefer to hear about it from those actually treating her, not some Public Affairs person. There is really nothing that suggests he’s into being a celebrity at all.

Bennett on January 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Wonderful news!

Sekhmet on January 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

That’s awesome news. I hope her recovery is as swift and as complete as possible.

beatcanvas on January 11, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Miracle.

The Mega Independent on January 11, 2011 at 12:58 PM

There really is a miracle working here, and occurring daily throughout the world. The miracle is that God has created men and women with the brilliance, dedication, and capacity to become neurosugeons and trauma surgeons.

Trafalgar on January 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM

There is really nothing that suggests he’s into being a celebrity at all.

Bennett on January 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Then you didn’t see him on Greta last night.

Knucklehead on January 11, 2011 at 1:09 PM

That is so wonderful!

powerpro on January 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Could the left blame her slow wonderful recovery on Sarah Palin and all her and others praying to what the left call the cult of Christ. Nah they would just say that is sign of her guilt.

tjexcite on January 11, 2011 at 1:19 PM

This Doctor and his team are just one example of why OUR health system is the BEST in the world. That’s right,
US = BEST
And that young man who saved Giffords’ life by staunching her bleeding is a damn HERO, who’s got a place in Heaven. That’s right,
HEAVEN
Chew on that, Zero.

teacherman on January 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Prayers answered. She is a tough woman.
MSM, thankfully, were premature in calling her death like James Brady.

carbon_footprint on January 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM

One thing I’ve noticed since Saturday is that no one has talked about the excellent health care she has received in the context of the larger Obamacare debate (now is not the time, I know, so I suspect it may come later).

All weekend I’ve been thinking “what if this had happened in Canada?” In my province Ontario, we have a shortage of neurosurgeons (even in Toronto, the largest city in the country!). Would she have received the same level of care anywhere else in the world?

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

That excellent news. God bless her and all the people that had a hand in her recovery.

KDANAZ on January 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Prayers continue to ascend for the victims in trauma care, their families, and those who are deceased and their families. May the good Lord hold them all in the palm of His hand and give them comfort.

Those two doctors are most professional in conveying these updates.

onlineanalyst on January 11, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Prayers up for a full recovery.

Chip on January 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

She sounds like just the type to do the hard work of rehab to reclaim most of her cognitive skills. I think she can and will do it.

Paul-Cincy on January 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

CanadianMelB @ 1:24

My point exactly. Well put.

teacherman on January 11, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Amazing. I have much respect for all the Dr’s and support

Ugly on January 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Has anyone seen any credible information on what sort of mental disorders and/or physical disorders she may suffer as a result of the wound?

NotCoach on January 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

One thing I’ve noticed since Saturday is that no one has talked about the excellent health care she has received in the context of the larger Obamacare debate (now is not the time, I know, so I suspect it may come later).

All weekend I’ve been thinking “what if this had happened in Canada?” In my province Ontario, we have a shortage of neurosurgeons (even in Toronto, the largest city in the country!). Would she have received the same level of care anywhere else in the world?

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

That’s the debate we should be having when the dust settles–not about political rhetoric. Someone needs to ask the question: “Had Ms. Giffords been a private citizen, would she have received this life-saving treatment under ObamaCare?” We know the answer but it still needs to be asked.

As for her recovery, I hope she pulls through and is able to enjoy a long, happy life with her family.

Redneck Woman on January 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

teacherman @ 1:27

Sorry! I didn’t see your comment until after I hit ‘submit’!

I keep thinking about Natasha Richardson who died in 2009 of a head injury when she was skiing in Quebec. If I remember correctly, the nearby hospital did not have the proper equipment to deal with a head injury (despite it’s proximity to a major ski resort). Eventually she was transfered to a hospital in New York before she died.

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM

And that young man who saved Giffords’ life by staunching her bleeding is a damn HERO, who’s got a place in Heaven. That’s right,
HEAVEN

teacherman on January 11, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Teacherman, I share your enthusiasm for the U.S. healthcare system and for the young man who came to Giffords’s rescue; however, I must point out that no one’s good works are a ticket to Heaven. I refer you to Isaiah 64:6, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 3:26-28.

Galatians 2:16 says that “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified…” And Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”

John 3:14-18 is Jesus’ own summary of what is needed for eternal life in Heaven, and that is personal faith in Him as God, Savior and Lord (“that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life…He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who believes not is condemned already…”

KyMouse on January 11, 2011 at 1:41 PM

All weekend I’ve been thinking “what if this had happened in Canada?” In my province Ontario, we have a shortage of neurosurgeons (even in Toronto, the largest city in the country!). Would she have received the same level of care anywhere else in the world?

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

In a shortage, you can always count on the elite getting theirs.

CDeb on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I always cringe when another doctor uses the phrase “100% chance of recovery” when talking about any injury as serious as the one she had, only because anything can happen with a brain injury (swelling, rebleeding, etc).

But I’m thrilled that he’s so optimisitic and that may just be his way of saying that so far she’s progressing a lot faster than he thought she might.

Prayers and best wishes for her, her family and anyone else injured/killed that day.

DrAllecon on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Has anyone seen any credible information on what sort of mental disorders and/or physical disorders she may suffer as a result of the wound?

NotCoach on January 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

4/23/1988 to 4/28/1988 I was in an induced coma due to a car wreck (closed head injury). The possible disorders are limitless… myself, I pretty much lost the ability to draw or write. It suxxors but I’m still kickin’

Ugly on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Frankly, I’ll take any trace of good news I can find these days. Pull through, Gabby! You and I may not totally agree politically but conservatives wish harm/death on no one.

skeedro on January 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM

In a shortage, you can always count on the elite getting theirs.

CDeb on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Yes, the elites in Canada go to the US for treatment!

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

KyMouse @ 1:41

Thank you brother (sister?) I appreciate your insight.

CanadianMelB, no apologies necessary, your input re: the situation in Canada is most enlightening, and helpful in understanding what we face with health care reform in this country.

teacherman on January 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

4/23/1988 to 4/28/1988 I was in an induced coma due to a car wreck (closed head injury). The possible disorders are limitless… myself, I pretty much lost the ability to draw or write. It suxxors but I’m still kickin’

Ugly on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I am glad to see you have done well since. But doctors should know what part of her brain was damaged. I am surprised no one has made any educated guesses at what type of disabilities she might suffer based on this. I hope though she is one of the rare cases in which she loses nothing mentally or physically.

NotCoach on January 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Good news, thank God.

jnelchef on January 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

O/T

Did y’all see this? For some reason, it made me think of Doug McKenzie in court.

Christien on January 11, 2011 at 2:01 PM

I always cringe when another doctor uses the phrase “100% chance of recovery” when talking about any injury as serious as the one she had, only because anything can happen with a brain injury (swelling, rebleeding, etc).

But I’m thrilled that he’s so optimisitic and that may just be his way of saying that so far she’s progressing a lot faster than he thought she might.

Prayers and best wishes for her, her family and anyone else injured/killed that day.

DrAllecon on January 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Yeah, I was kinda shocked to see a doctor say 100%.

But it sure is good news. Amazing.

forest on January 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Wow. Who would have thought the news would have been this right after hearing she’d been shot in the head?

di butler on January 11, 2011 at 2:06 PM

How long to wait before she is replaced? 3 months sound about right?

huckleberryfriend on January 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Thank God for saving her. And America.

HitNRun on January 11, 2011 at 2:13 PM

How long to wait before she is replaced? 3 months sound about right?

huckleberryfriend on January 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Try more like two years, that is of course only if she doesn’t run for reelection. It is extremely hard to get someone out, once they are in congress.

Tommy_G on January 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM

How long to wait before she is replaced? 3 months sound about right?

huckleberryfriend on January 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Nope. She will return to the House Floor and when she does she’ll get a standing ovation. And that seat will be hers for as long as she wants it. Republicans won’t even run anyone against her – or at least the national Republicans won’t support her opponants even if local Republicans nominate one.

dczombie on January 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Thank GOD

reshas1 on January 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

KyMouse on January 11, 2011 at 1:41 PM

By their fruits you shall know them.

unclesmrgol on January 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

All weekend I’ve been thinking “what if this had happened in Canada?” In my province Ontario, we have a shortage of neurosurgeons (even in Toronto, the largest city in the country!). Would she have received the same level of care anywhere else in the world?

The emergency care at places like Sunnybrook is pretty darned good. Otherwise, this is not really the place to debate Obamacare.

YYZ on January 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

dczombie on January 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Most likely. Unless Obama wins a second term (which would turn much of the country into post-Katrina New Orleans in slow motion), she’ll probably be safe until 2016 at the very earliest.

Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that we literally cannot afford to have Democrats in the House because of the debt, I’d vote for her. NRA, Blue Dog, anti-amnesty, voted against Pelosi…

HitNRun on January 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM

This is wonderful news!.

katy the mean old lady on January 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

The emergency care at places like Sunnybrook is pretty darned good. Otherwise, this is not really the place to debate Obamacare.

YYZ on January 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

F that, this seems like the perfect place to discuss the logical out-workings of Obamacare.

Can you leftists not restrain the desire to controll all speech for fifteen minutes?

Good thing this shooting didn’t happen in the great state of Illinois. There are only a handful of neurosurgeons left in the state directly due to liberal democrat policies.

Inanemergencydial on January 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Fantastic news. I hope God gives her the strenght and courage to make a full recovery.

darwin on January 11, 2011 at 3:12 PM

CanadianMelB on January 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Your input is welcome!
Where’s our resident CanadianTroll d-bag on this one?

That’s the debate we should be having when the dust settles–not about political rhetoric. Someone needs to ask the question: “Had Ms. Giffords been a private citizen, would she have received this life-saving treatment under ObamaCare?” We know the answer but it still needs to be asked.

As for her recovery, I hope she pulls through and is able to enjoy a long, happy life with her family.

Redneck Woman on January 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Great question.

The emergency care at places like Sunnybrook is pretty darned good. Otherwise, this is not really the place to debate Obamacare.

YYZ on January 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Why not? See below.

F that, this seems like the perfect place to discuss the logical out-workings of Obamacare.

Can you leftists not restrain the desire to controll all speech for fifteen minutes?

Good thing this shooting didn’t happen in the great state of Illinois. There are only a handful of neurosurgeons left in the state directly due to liberal democrat policies.

Inanemergencydial on January 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Imagine that. Doctors leaving an area that is oppresive.
What a thought.

Badger40 on January 11, 2011 at 3:14 PM

How long to wait before she is replaced? 3 months sound about right?

huckleberryfriend on January 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Nope. She will return to the House Floor and when she does she’ll get a standing ovation.

And we HAers will all be standing and applauding, too, I have no doubt! :-)

And that seat will be hers for as long as she wants it. Republicans won’t even run anyone against her – or at least the national Republicans won’t support her opponants even if local Republicans nominate one.

dczombie on January 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Hmm. I’m sure you’re right, but at least she’s one of the Blue Dogs, IIRC, so it could be worse.

We’ll just have to make up for it by picking off, uh, targeting, um, supporting conservative candidates to run against other more liberal Congresscritters.

Mary in LA on January 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Here is an article about doctor shortages in Illinois specifically. If you think for one minute that federalized control of the entire healthcare system is going to remedy this shortage, you are severely deluded.

Inanemergencydial on January 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM

They should give Loughner an MRI because he probably has a brain tumor behind his psychosis.

May Gifford live to see him executed.

profitsbeard on January 11, 2011 at 3:35 PM

This is a blessing from God. You’re right Ed, this is the best news one will hear all day.

Just awesome.

gary4205 on January 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Imagine that. Doctors leaving an area that is oppresive.
What a thought.

Badger40 on January 11, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I don’t have to imagine at all. I worked for a year in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and once I had to visit someone in the hospital there. I was shocked when I got there because the hospital’s nurses and doctors were almost entirely Canadian. Yes, Canadian. They would rather leave Canada and move to the Middle East than tolerate socialist Canadian medicine. I guarantee there’s no shortage of neurosurgeons there as there is in Toronto.

A preview of Obamacare’s results in the US. The Arabs are thankful.

JSGreg3 on January 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM

This is news worth cheering. Keep praying for Giffords and Giffords, you keep right on fighting, girl!

englishqueen01 on January 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I pray Gabbriella Giffords recovers fully. All my prayers for her and her family. May God comfort the survivors, and their families, and bring them peace.

Dr Evil on January 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM

That is excellent news. I wish her the best.

1IDVET on January 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM

She is doing better so far than one friend of mine who simply hit is head riding a skateboard. He was two weeks before he could breathe on his own and he never was “right” after that. It literally “knocked him simple” and he will probably be that way for the rest of his life.

Still hoping for the best.

crosspatch on January 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM

God bless Rep. Giffords and the other victims.

drflykilla on January 11, 2011 at 4:19 PM

May not agree with her politics, but am very happy to hear the prognosis. Prayers are being answered.

Prayers also for the other victims and their families.

AZfederalist on January 11, 2011 at 8:42 PM

May not agree with her politics, but am very happy to hear the prognosis. Prayers are being answered.

Prayers also for the other victims and their families.

AZfederalist on January 11, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Excellent Post!..Amen..:)

Dire Straits on January 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM

I wish a full and speedy recovery for her.

long_cat on January 12, 2011 at 5:30 AM