Giffords’ husband: “Extraordinary progress”

posted at 12:50 pm on January 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

How extraordinary? Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, says Gabrielle Giffords insists on rubbing his back when he sits by her bedside. Doctors have upgraded her condition to serious as Kelly said he would be open to meeting the parents of the lunatic who shot her and thirteen others, and killed six more:

On Sunday Giffords’ condition was upgraded from critical to serious, a day after doctors replaced Giffords’ breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube to allow her to breathe better and free her from the ventilator. Kelly told Sawyer that Giffords’ is now moving around enough to give him a back rub.

“[It is] so typical of her. She’s in the ICU. You know, gone through this traumatic injury. And she spent 10 minutes giving me a neck massage,” Kelly explained. “I keep tellin’ her. I’m like, ‘Gabby, you’re in the ICU. You know, you don’t need — you know, you don’t need to be doin’ this.’ But it’s so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she’s lookin’ out for other people.”

Diane Sawyer asked Kelly whether he would be willing to meet the parents of the shooter, and he said that being a parent gives him “a certain level of understanding”:

“I’d probably see them. You know, I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s not the parents fault. You know, I’d like to think I’m a person that’s, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they’ve got to be hurting in this situation as much as much as anybody,” Kelly told Sawyer.

Kelly himself is the father of two teenage girls from his first marriage, and told Sawyer that being a parent gives him a certain level of understanding.

“Gabby has two stepdaughters, and I have children. And they must, I’m sure they love their son. And they must be, you know, as distraught over this as all of us are,” Kelly told Sawyer.

Meanwhile, ABC reports that the “heated rhetoric” meme has all but dissipated, at least on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers continue to worry about their friend and mourn the loss of a staffer:

All of this is good news. For his part, Kelly is under no delusions about recovery; he told ABC that this will take weeks and months, not hours and days. Giffords’ rapid return to interaction does not mean she will necessarily recover everything else as rapidly. Brain injuries notoriously are unpredictable and complicated. Fortunately, Giffords appears to have a top-flight medical team that has literally been battle tested, and that has to be playing a role in her miraculous response.

We’ll continue to pray for Giffords and all of the victims and their families.

Update: Please read The Anchoress’ moving thoughts at Patheos: “Love never fails.”

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

With hushed tones and held breath MSNBC/CNN/ABC/CBS/NYT/WAPO/HUFFPO/ETC. await her blaming Palin and the Tea Party and “Hate-filled rhetoric”.

She is the new James Brady for the media.

**hope for a speedy recovery.

PappyD61 on January 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

But remember Giffords and Kelly are neo-confederates now…

All snark aside, great news!

MeatHeadinCA on January 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

good!!

ted c on January 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Just curious….I haven’t heard anything, so I’m assuming the Giffords have no children?

*Prayers for her and all the victims and their families.*

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM

In all things be thankful

darwin-t on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Serious topic, long road ahead, strictly clinically speaking.

———

“I’d probably see them. You know, I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s not the parents fault. You know, I’d like to think I’m a person that’s, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they’ve got to be hurting in this situation as much as much as anybody,” Kelly told Sawyer.
Kelly himself is the father of two teenage girls from his first marriage, and told Sawyer that being a parent gives him a certain level of understanding.
“Gabby has two stepdaughters, and I have children. And they must, I’m sure they love their son. And they must be, you know, as distraught over this as all of us are,” Kelly told Sawyer.

Is this man a teenager? An astronaut?

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Just curious….I haven’t heard anything, so I’m assuming the Giffords have no children?

*Prayers for her and all the victims and their families.*

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM

He has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage, but they have no children together.

KSgop on January 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I think we ought to cut him some slack here. He probably hasn’t slept much in the last week + since this happened. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s staying at the hospital with her.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

News about this woman makes me smile everyday. May God bless her and her family.

princetrumpet on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

The details are too public. She’ll have permanent damage to some of her highest level brain functions such as personality, the will, and long-term planning. Shouldn’t it be up to her, the level of public scrutiny she allows? I don’t think the husband is serving her well with these detailed anecdotes about her condition.

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Is this man a teenager? An astronaut?

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

*shrugs

I can cut him a break given the circumstances.

MeatHeadinCA on January 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Good news. You know.

GarandFan on January 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

KSgop on January 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Thanks, KS!

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM
==========================================================

Was there a sale on pettiness this weekend?

princetrumpet on January 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Nice to see that he’d be willing to meet Loughner’s parents. Maybe even meet with the Pima Community College leaders. And ask why their cops didn’t commit Loughner for a psychiatric eval. Seeing as they demanded that he produce a psych report that stated he was ‘not a danger to himself or others’. That requirement being EXACTLY the criteria for an involuntary commitment.

GarandFan on January 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I am praying for her and all the families caught in this tragedy.Unfortunately it was made even worse by the vitriolic hate that was shown towards innocents like Sarah Palin and Conservatives. The media is to blame for this. I hope they reap what they sowed.

sandee on January 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Is this man a teenager? An astronaut?

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

No, this is a man struggling with an incredible burden, his wife is clinging to life, and he has to answer emotional and difficult questions, after days of living with an almost unimaginable personal tragedy.
Do you have any more foolish, and immature questions?

This is how stupid your questions is:

He received a B.S. degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), graduating with highest honors in 1986. While attending the USMMA, he achieved the position of Regimental Executive Officer; the second-highest position in the Regiment of Midshipmen, known informally as “RX”.

In 1994, he received an M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Kelly remains on active-duty. He is on loan to NASA and holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy. He is the recipient of the following awards: Two Defense Superior Service Medals, Air Medal (2 individual/2 strike flight) with Combat “V”, Navy Commendation Medal (2, one with combat “V”), Navy Achievement Medal, two Southwest Asia Service Medals, Navy Expeditionary Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and an Overseas Service Ribbon.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

She is the new James Brady for the media.

**hope for a speedy recovery.

PappyD61 on January 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I am truly grateful for her amazing recovery. Yet my skin does crawl at my utter certainty that she will become a powerful prop for Obama’s re-election efforts and the democrat party’s fortunes.

Rational Thought on January 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I think we ought to cut him some slack here. He probably hasn’t slept much in the last week + since this happened. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s staying at the hospital with her.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Clinical… – your speech style doesn’t change under stress. You might garble some words, sentences, or forget things, but this is what it is. Hardly anyone can hold two separate thoughts in one scull any longer. It’s a travesty for humanity. AZ is very telling, from so many angles. The ‘independents’ came home to be scroomed. The right went mashed potatoes. Good luck.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Wonderful news. Thank you for any updating information.

Continued prayers for her recovery along with the others wounded and their families.

jdmccomb on January 17, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Here’s hoping for a full recovery…

Gohawgs on January 17, 2011 at 1:07 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s staying at the hospital with her.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

They say he hasn’t left her side…I can’t imagine the pain and anxiousness he has gone through…even with the exceptional training and his education, no one could ever be prepared for something like this.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I agree. Both the husband and the media are setting us up for a possible disappointment and heartache.

James Brady comes to mind, but I do pray she makes a full recovery.

Knucklehead on January 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I am truly grateful for her amazing recovery. Yet my skin does crawl at my utter certainty that she will become a powerful prop for Obama’s re-election efforts and the democrat party’s fortunes.

Rational Thought on January 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Plus, O’s “pro death penalty” stance for an expedited execution of the crazed kid (who close to 2012, Nov. will no longer be of the right, just a vicious thug).

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

This is news beyond anyone’s hopes. I hope the media and democrats leave her the hell alone and let her and her obviously exhausted husband heal.

darwin on January 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Good Lord, give it a rest.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I’m glad she is doing so much better than expected. When I heard she had been shot in the head at clsoe range I thought the worst. Brain injuries like that are hardly ever recovered well from.

I’ll keep her in my prayers.

CCRWM on January 17, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Sad to think of how the Democrats will work to attach puppet strings to her and make her dance to their tune. Yes, they are that low, they know we know and they don’t care.

Extrafishy on January 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s staying at the hospital with her.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Isn’t this obvious and expected of any caring spouse? Of course he s/b there.

Life will go on. The world will continue to turn, for a time. The left will make hay out of this until decency will be no more. The right will enable them. The latter is the most shameful of all.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:06 PM

And your education is what? He graduated with highest honors of a military academy, then went on to get his M.S. degree…

Clinical… – your speech style doesn’t change under stress

Yeah, you are real brilliant…I know one thing for sure, you are no speech pathologist…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Good Lord, give it a rest.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

You can only tell yourself to “give it a rest”. The rest of us are still free. You never have to agree.

Respectfully conveyed

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM

R2b, don’t lose it too. You’re an old-times who should know better. You missed the entire argument.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:16 PM

And your education is what? He graduated with highest honors of a military academy, then went on to get his M.S. degree…

They must teach speech as they do at Harvard and Yale then.

It is not relevant how you are I write/speak, you know?

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

They say he hasn’t left her side…I can’t imagine the pain and anxiousness he has gone through…even with the exceptional training and his education, no one could ever be prepared for something like this.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

So true. Even when you are prepared for a loved one being hospitalized, it is an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. But to have such a traumatic, life-changing event thrust upon you instantaneously and unexpectedly, is exponentially more difficult. We are all, alas, only human, and need much help and support.

Just yesterday, I heard CPT Kelly say how much he appreciated the letters and messages of prayer and support that they had received, and he asked that we keep ‘em coming!

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

how you are I – s/b you or I

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Why is Diane Sawyer asking if “he would be willing to meet the parents of the shooter”?

What an inappropriate question.

Fallon on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

May God hold her and the other wounded and their families in the hollow of His hand.

kingsjester on January 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

old-times s/b old-timer

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

All involved remain in my prayers.

Cindy Munford on January 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Why is Diane Sawyer asking if “he would be willing to meet the parents of the shooter”?

What an inappropriate question.

Fallon on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I read somewhere that Gifford knew the mother. Dont know if that’s true.

the_nile on January 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

how you are I – s/b you or I

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

old-times s/b old-timer

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

How old are you? Thumb-typing teenager, I presume.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

“Why is Diane Sawyer asking if “he would be willing to meet the parents of the shooter”?”

Because if it happens, Diane will be right there with a “follow-up report”.

GarandFan on January 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

How old are you? Thumb-typing teenager, I presume.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

7

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

It is not relevant how you are I write/speak, you know?

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

No, I got it, you are kicking a man when he is down…he is facing a trauma that none should face. You may not be married (sound like maybe you are in your early twenties), but it affects most people differently then you.
Your post was as idiotic and insensitive as one could post don’t embarrass yourself more by trying to defend it.
Best you just either apologize for being stupid and foolish, or let it drop.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Why is Diane Sawyer asking if “he would be willing to meet the parents of the shooter”?

What an inappropriate question.

Fallon on January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Easy, the parents had said they wanted to meet with him…the pain they must be in, the guilt.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Best you just either apologize for being stupid and foolish, or let it drop.

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

You defend a simplistic school system. Have at it. Your lecturing is of a faux superiority.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

You defend a simplistic school system….
Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Whaaaatttt?
Great post…you are F’in brilliant, keep posting…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Whaaaatttt?
Great post…you are F’in brilliant, keep posting…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

r2b saw self in the mirror.

Moralistic preaching and brightness are indignant.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Slightly off topic here but…….

Maybe Giffords can get back to D.C. and talk some sense into this “like playing with fire” theme.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70F25Q20110116?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Oh wait, she’s a Dem……….nevermind.

PappyD61 on January 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

You defend a simplistic school system. Have at it. Your lecturing is of a faux superiority.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

r2b saw self in the mirror.
Moralistic preaching and brightness are indignant.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

If I were you I’d shut up now before someone decides to have you evaluated psychologically. You sound an awful lot like Loughner. Seriously.

IrishEi on January 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

IrishEi, ‘turn yourself in’, or out as it may be. Your accusations are outrageous.

All I said was that the overuse of “you know” is prevalent. Nothing wrong with that. Just listen to punks do it. You and r2b took it from there. Get real, both of you. Generally you’re never this nutty.

Schadenfreude on January 17, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I do not agree with her politics, however, “I wish her a speedy, full recovery”!!!!!
On the other hand, “I wish that the “MSM” goes to stright to HELL”!!!!

bucko36 on January 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I’m very relieved Rep. Giffords is doing so much better. I am, however, a bit surprised that ABC didn’t ask about the “vitriol” and if that might have been a motive. Probably afraid of what the answer would be (a definitive NO). They pushed the “Sarah Palin did it” meme hard just like their co-ideologists at CNN, MSNBC, NYT, and the networks. So you just know they’re hoping for a miracle. (No, not Giffords pulling through. That obviously isn’t a big priority with them. Their miracle would be that it turns out that the Righties actually were responsible for this thing.)

WarEagle01 on January 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

proving once again that some folks can be a petty d!ck about just about anything

(speaking about the comments, not the article)

29Victor on January 17, 2011 at 2:02 PM

“[It is] so typical of her. She’s in the ICU. You know, gone through this traumatic injury. And she spent 10 minutes giving me a neck massage,” Kelly explained. “I keep tellin’ her. I’m like, ‘Gabby, you’re in the ICU. You know, you don’t need — you know, you don’t need to be doin’ this.’ But it’s so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she’s lookin’ out for other people.”

I don’t agree with her politics, but Gabrielle Giffords is a wonderful and classy human being, and brings honor to the House of Representatives. May God bless her and grant her a speedy recovery!

Steve Z on January 17, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Wishing I could give lots of hugs to all the family members, and yes people are “thirsty” for information (even though sometimes it is gross.)

I almost died of TSS so it was unexpected and Mr. PPF had to juggle a lot. At least he worked at the hospital. Can’t remember a lot of it, and it gets foggy with time. I am more concerned at the psychological trauma. That, of course is another chapter she will have to face.

ProudPalinFan on January 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Glad she’s doing so well. How is everyone else doing? She’s not the only person shot.

Kissmygrits on January 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

It’s wonderful news that she continues to recover on a daily basis. I cannot imagine the grief her husband and family are going through. I continue to pray for her and her family as well as the others in this tragedy and hope others of faith do as well.

She’s a remarkable woman.

BruthaMan on January 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM

May God bless her and her family along with everyone else affected by this tragedy.

Shiny_Tiara on January 17, 2011 at 3:14 PM

The Anchoress thinks Gabby is Christian? She has written a totally Christian and self serving apotheosis.

ploome on January 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

The power of prayer. It’s a beautiful thing. :)

Prayers continue, for everyone. Giffords, her husband and family, and all those victims, families, and the people of Tuscon.

capejasmine on January 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM

The Anchoress thinks Gabby is Christian? She has written a totally Christian and self serving apotheosis.

ploome on January 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Is that assessment based on fact, or your opinion?

capejasmine on January 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM

capejasmine on January 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I am not sure what you mean? Is Gabby Jewish?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_Giffords

“Giffords was raised in a mixed religious environment by her Jewish father and Christian Science-practicing mother. She has identified herself solely with Judaism since 2001, belonging to Congregation Chaverim, a Reform synagogue, in Tucson.[1][11] She is Arizona’s first Jewish Congresswoman.[12][13]‘

The Anchoress, as usual, has written some gushing piece which has more to say about anchoress religion, than Rep Gifford.

ploome on January 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Having been through the ICU journey myself when my husband’s youngest son suffered brain injury, then respiratory distress, from which we nearly lost him … this nitpicking over Cpt Kelly’s choice of words is simply childish. Grow UP.

First, intelligence and education have little to do with the ability to speak in public. (See: Obama, Barack, sans teleprompter.) Secondly, given the above experience and knowing that my husband is easily in the top one-tenth percentile in IQ with a top-notch education (non-public schools, private college), I can tell you … after only a week holding vigil at bedside, sleeping maybe an hour or two at a time, he was scarcely able to string together a coherent sentence when speaking to me. I can’t imagine what utterances we would have been treated to had he been in front of television cameras and trying to speak to Diane Sawyer. Once after babbling some bit of nonsense, he attempted to apologize, intending to say he was sleep deprived, but it came out “sleep retarded” … and thus provided some levity to the rather grim situation we found ourselves in.

Give Cpt Kelly a break, and pray to the mighty Lord in Heaven you never find yourself in a similar situation.

That said … again, given what I witnessed last summer with my stepson, anything is possible in Rep. Giffords recovery. Anything. We must remain steadfast in keeping her in our prayers, standing in the gap and storming Heaven seeking His Grace and Mercy.

LissaKay on January 17, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Fantastic that she’s recovering so well, may that continue. Hopefully the bullet didn’t damage anything vital and she can make a full recovery.

I know parents can’t control what they’re grown children do, but if officials from a college and the police told me that my son needed a mental health examination and then told me why, he’d have been at the doctor’s office before they finished talking. From what his classmates say, both high school and college, it sounds like he had been ill for a long time and getting worse, how could he not be getting help?

Common Sense on January 17, 2011 at 10:48 PM