Doctors give Giffords "100% chance" of survival

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.