Video: Giffords flown to Houston for evaluation and rehab

posted at 2:55 pm on January 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Gabrielle Giffords continues to make remarkable progress after surviving an assassination attempt by a lunatic in Tucson. In less than two weeks since being shot in the head at nearly point-blank range, Giffords can now stand with some assistance and is showing signs of trying to speak. Giffords has a tracheal tube still in place which makes speaking impossible, but the fact that she has tried to speak is yet another sign that Giffords is fighting to recover from the shooting, as well as an indicator that her brain may recover from the trauma — although the road will be long and difficult:

Giffords flew from Tucson to Houston today, where she will start her rehabilitation in order to be close to her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Friday left the Tucson, Arizona hospital where she has been treated since a January 9 gunshot wound, traveling under police escort down streets lined with well-wishers.

Giffords’ first stop was to be Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where she was expected to board an aircraft that will carry her to Houston. She will continue her recovery there.

Although previous reports had indicated she would move directly to a rehabilitation facility affiliated with Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, she will instead be taken to the hospital’s trauma center for evaluation and treatment, said Dr. Dong Kim, a neurosurgeon at the hospital.

“She’s not quite ready for rehabilitation yet,” he said, citing concerns about ongoing medical issues. He declined to elaborate.

The ongoing medical issues relate to her surgeries over the last thirteen days, as the video report makes clear. Memorial Hermann will oversee her case as she goes through rehab, so they need to do their own evaluation first to proceed properly. That means ensuring that Giffords’ post-surgical status is stable, getting baseline measurements on her abilities, and developing their own plan for rehab. It shouldn’t take long, but the evaluation shouldn’t surprise or discourage anyone.

We will certainly keep Rep. Giffords, her family and friends, and her caregivers in our prayers, as we do for the other victims in the Tucson shootings.  Hopefully we will hear more good news in the future for all of the surviving victims.


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So she is going to Houston to be near her husband? Is he still planning on going into space despite her condtion?

txmomof6 on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Awesome,and amazing,god-speed to Gabrielle Giffords!!

canopfor on January 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM

So she is going to Houston to be near her husband? Is he still planning on going into space despite her condtion?

txmomof6 on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM

txmomof6:Good question,he`s Commander of that flight!:)

canopfor on January 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I am surprised they put her on a plane. With an abrupt change in air pressure it is very risky for a person in her condition. Anyway no harm done I guess.

Geochelone on January 21, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I’m very glad she’s going to the TIRR of Memorial Hermann, the best rehab facility in the world for her kind of injuries. They’ve treated and rehabbed hundreds of our troops from Iraq and the Stan, and have an unmatched depth of experience in cranial and brain trauma. She’s truly in good hands here.

And, our Sherrif keeps his mouth shut.

TXUS on January 21, 2011 at 3:11 PM

this is where the hard work starts. Once medically capable, she’ll begin sitting upright, standing with assistance, regaining her balance and walking if she can. There’s a lot of work ahead–Two a day PT sessions and strengthening exercises. God bless her.

ted c on January 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM

At the risk of offending everyone…
(can we move on?)

mjbrooks3 on January 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

So she is going to Houston to be near her husband? Is he still planning on going into space despite her condtion?

txmomof6 on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM

txmomof6:)

I found the CoastoCoast segment,with George Noory,
discussing this with Richard C.Hoagland!
=============================================

Richard C. Hoagland – Newsflash on Coast (Jan. 13, 2011 – George Noory)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Iui3kXd80

canopfor on January 21, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Best of luck to her. Am hoping for full recovery.

rbj on January 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I am surprised they put her on a plane. With an abrupt change in air pressure it is very risky for a person in her condition. Anyway no harm done I guess.

Geochelone on January 21, 2011 at 3:10 PM

with what we’ve learned from OIF and OEF, the flight med crews are pretty savvy on head injuries/flight and their effects. Everyday, C17s land at Andrews and offload wounded soldiers with various head injuries and in flight medical care can monitor any changes. She’ll certainly have 1-2 flight nurses and a flight surgeon that’ll watch her enroute.

ted c on January 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

My prayers are with Gabby Giffords and her wonderful family.

Being a Rehab nurse for many years I am not surprised at all about…..
“She’s not quite ready for rehabilitation yet,” he said, citing concerns about ongoing medical issues. He declined to elaborate.”
It seemed WAY too early to me.

Trust me when I say she has a long road ahead of her. I’m not a doctor but suffice to say that when you’re “shot in the head” you’re bound to end up with at least “higher level deficits”.
Will she ever be “Congresswoman” again…very tough to say.
Here’s hoping in miracles.

tencole on January 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM

At the risk of offending everyone…
(can we move on?)

mjbrooks3 on January 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

The dead victims are still dead and 99% of the country doesn’t even know their names. But everybody knows about Gabby Giffords. Not Gifford’s fault, it’s the incompetent scum media.

Extrafishy on January 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Being from Houston and in the medical field (equipment sales) for 30+ years, TIRR is top number one for this kind of rehab. Over the years, I had many dealings with TIRR, their physicians, Occupational and Physical Therapists, etc. They are definitely the best in their field. God bless ya Rep. Giffords. You are in good hands at TIRR and also able to be close to your husband while he’s at NASA.

sicoit on January 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM

The dead victims are still dead and 99% of the country doesn’t even know their names. But everybody knows about Gabby Giffords. Not Gifford’s fault, it’s the incompetent scum media.

Extrafishy on January 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

The media is out of control today. PMSNBC was showing wall to wall coverage of her 20 car motorcade OJ style in AZ going to the airport.

This morning on our local news here in Houston, they had reporters blanketing the hospital in the med center. And I’m sure they’ll be following the motorcade here as well.

I continue to pray and hope for her recovery, but this is ridiculous… esp when there were several other people that were shot and are recovering.

davek70 on January 21, 2011 at 3:28 PM

ted c on January 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Right on ted. With experts on board all will be well.

I just had a recent experience with a close friend diagnosed with a GBM and underwent radio-surgery. A subsequent pleasure trip to the Grand Canyon, even with that gradual change in altitude, messed her all up. I tried to warn them against such a trip for the risks involved. It took over a week to recover to a baseline and no one had much fun either.

Geochelone on January 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I am thrilled to learn of Giffords’s continuing recovery and pray that she is rehabilitated with Godspeed.

Meanwhile Judge Roll and others (whose names have been lost to the media memory hole) are still dead. This whole travesty has been politicized beyond my best efforts at being charitable.

onlineanalyst on January 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I look forward to watching Jared’s face when she testifies against him at trial.

a capella on January 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

The media is out of control today. PMSNBC was showing wall to wall coverage of her 20 car motorcade OJ style in AZ going to the airport.

This morning on our local news here in Houston, they had reporters blanketing the hospital in the med center. And I’m sure they’ll be following the motorcade here as well.

I continue to pray and hope for her recovery, but this is ridiculous… esp when there were several other people that were shot and are recovering.

davek70 on January 21, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Agreed. This circus today overshadowed a very beautiful and special memorial to a fallen border soldier today at Kino Park. It was disheartening to see that not many people from the public attended. It was a beautiful service however. Godspeed to Agent Brian Terry.

Equality 7-2521 on January 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Wait for it…

“Sarah Palin forced Gabby Giffords to leave her home in Arizona” – Chris Matthews

Seven Percent Solution on January 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

At the risk of offending everyone…
(can we move on?)

mjbrooks3 on January 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

No offense. Thank you for the general sanity check.

No wonder Fox is down in the ratings by at least 16 points.

If the Rs get shellacked in 2012 they have only themselves to blame.

No, this doesn’t mean that anyone wishes this travesty on anyone. May Dupnik, the media and all who make political, commercial, and other hay out of this be plagued.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Oh good! Can we stop hearing about her, constantly, now? I hope she recovers, but the local media has just beaten this story to death. Every day there’s press conferences with her doctor talking about every little thing that is going on! Enough already! If she wasn’t a congresswoman, we wouldn’t be hearing about this. Leave her alone and let her recover!

JannyMae on January 21, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I look forward to watching Jared’s face when she testifies against him at trial.

a capella on January 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I doubt that will happen, since Gabby doesn’t remember what happened to her. She might be there for the sentencing, though!

JannyMae on January 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

How long before CongressWOMAAAN Sheila Jackson-Lee swoops in for a photo op? You know that She-Jack can’t help herself and will try to be as close to the cameras as possible.

DAT60A3 on January 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I hate to be so cynical about this because I glad she’s doing so well … but I wonder when the left is going to start bugging her to make statements blaming Palin, Rush, Beck, the Tea Party, the right and so on.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I hate to be so cynical about this because I glad she’s doing so well … but I wonder when the left is going to start bugging her to make statements blaming Palin, Rush, Beck, the Tea Party, the right and so on.

darwin on January 21, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Everyone is thinking the same thing. Will she be paraded around like a prop? I hope not, I hope we can rise above it. She seems very classy but…politics is a powerful driving force.

Geochelone on January 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Memorial Hermann Hospital

I was born there!

libertytexan on January 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

At the risk of offending everyone…
(can we move on?)
mjbrooks3 on January 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

______________________

Yes, you are at risk of offending everyone.

alwyr on January 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

The dead victims are still dead and 99% of the country doesn’t even know their names. But everybody knows about Gabby Giffords. Not Gifford’s fault, it’s the incompetent scum media.

Extrafishy on January 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Yes, best wishes for her recovery, but the MSM seems to have forgotten the grief being lived every minute by the parents and families of those who died. Just two weeks ago, Christina’s parents had a little girl, now…

Over50 on January 21, 2011 at 4:12 PM

At the risk of offending everyone…
(can we move on?)

mjbrooks3 on January 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

I’m with you, broham.

I’m sure she’s a nice lady and I wish her all the best….but this coverage is too much. Updates at the top of each hor’s new, endless video of her slow-moving ambulance rides….enough already.

There, I said it.

pseudonominus on January 21, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Godspeed youg lady, you will remain in my prayers.

rjoco1 on January 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I hope she isn’t exploited…She seems like a really smart lady, the best thing for her is that she can get away for a while.

tomas on January 21, 2011 at 4:28 PM

The outpouring of goodwill toward this woman from conservatives across the country is nothing short of wonderful. I pointed this out to a friend on Facebook, and suggested that, had she been a Republican, the loony left would be wishing for a painful death.

One of his left-leaning friends immediately posted a response. His first sentence: “Curt, you are a dumbass!” Then he tried to suggest that such boorish behavior was somehow beneath the left. I didn’t bother to respond. The guy was clearly beyond help.

CurtZHP on January 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I agree that this story is very lopsided concerning coverage of the Congresswoman. I just keep wondering how much is actually true? I know I’m way too cynical on most any story I get forced upon me like this.

First there was the eyes opening at the presence of The One. Then the neck massage. Seriously? A massage requires pressure. Was it really just her touching his neck? Now the standing and a whirlwind entry into rehab.

I’m also sick of hearing the name of the scumbag and seeing his mug on screen. What’s even worse is that by the time the trial actually starts, his law team will have enough media bilgewater to make Barnum & Bailey look like rank amateurs.

TugboatPhil on January 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

On April 9, 2008, my husband’s Aorta ruptured while he was puttering around in the backyard. At first, we thought that he was having a muscle spasm. An hour later, I knew that we were wrong and I was literally throwing him in the car, racing to the ER. Three hours later, he was on the operating table. Nine hours later, the surgeon came out and informed me that he had made it thru surgery but the next few days were critical. Actually, the next 3 months turned out to be critical as he laid in a coma.
I understand what Mr. Kelly is going thru in regards to his wife’s recovery. Every moment is both joy and heartache. You rejoice every milestone your spouse makes yet you feel helpless because you cannot do more.
Now that Congresswoman Gifford’s has been moved to Houston, the really hard work begins for both of them. It is going to be a long, drawn out fight for both of them. They will spend the next few days doing evaluations. This means that doctors, nurses, therapist, etc will all be coming in to do the initial intakes; they need a starting place before they can formulate a plan of attack. Once Mrs. Giffords has been evaluated and deemed healthy enough to start therapy, the hard work begins.
There will be frustration, tears, anger. There will be laughter, tears, joy. There will be hateful looks from the one you love. She will hate him as he pushes her to the max. She will love him as she lay there in exhaustion because she was able to pull herself up on their own as he cheered her on.
In a lot of ways, Mr. Kelly will suffer more because he will have the life long memories of his wife’s struggle and the feelings of inadequacy that he could not take this burden from her, that he could not take the pain and the battle from her and win it for her. She will not remember the feelings of helplessness, the anger you feel at the world, at God. How could this happen? Why did this happen?
I pray desperately Mrs. Giffords regains all of her abilities. I also pray for Mr. Kelly, that he does not hold on to the helplessness, that he see’s all that he has done to guide his wife and that he realizes just how incredibly special he is also.

*After 2 months of rehab, hubby was back at work as a carpenter.

scmommy on January 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I just heard on Special Report that the she smiled in reaction to the people cheering her from route the ambulance took.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

scmommy on January 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Frightening story, congratulations on your husbands recovery.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2011 at 6:20 PM

I found the media circus swarming around the motorcade carrying Rep. Giffords to the waiting plane disgusting. I could not watch it.

I also find it oddly insulting that Rep. Giffords is often referred to as “Gabby” as if she was everyone’s best friend. We should refer to her respectfully.

I foresee Obama and the rest of his ilk (God! I love that word!) using her and her husband’s tragedy as much as they can and wringing every ounce of vicarious sympathy until the American public can stand it no more.

I pray that everyone will let her recover in peace. Get the media out of her and her husband’s faces.

Sloan Morganstern on January 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM

I’m surprised there is not more talk about those that died in Loughner’s attack. Who were they, where are the pictures, what’s their story, where are their families?

slickwillie2001 on January 21, 2011 at 7:00 PM

scmommy on January 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Very glad to hear about your husband’s recovery.

I have also been bothered by the common usage of “Gabby”, especially by the President. Speaking as the leader of the country, it just isn’t his place to use a nickname unless it was part of his family or a very close adviser.

TugboatPhil on January 21, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Sending prayers for a full recovery for Ms. Giffords.

buckichick1 on January 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Dump Giffords on 11-6-12. May she enjoy a long an healthy (as possible) retirement.

exdeadhead on January 21, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Dump Giffords on 11-6-12. May she enjoy a long an healthy (as possible) retirement.

exdeadhead on January 21, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Sorry for their troubles,
but Ms Giffords and her husband should both be replaced ASAP. The public deserves physically and emotionally unencumbered representatives in government, as well as in Space. What we’re getting here is a dose of malarkey and magical thinking that She will be fit to govern, or her hubby fit to fly, in the forseeable future. Pure Democrat/Lefty News manipulation of the facts of the matter – from the time Obama parlayed “she opened her EYES” into a dead-cat bounce in the polls!

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on January 22, 2011 at 2:52 AM