Arizona aftershock hits home

January 21, 2011

by Kelly Belton, NEWS EDITOR

Less than two weeks after she was shot through the temple, doctors say Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) could be released to a rehabilitation center soon. NPR reported Monday that doctors said it could be days to weeks before the congresswoman is moved. 

She underwent two surgeries Saturday – one to replace a breathing tube and another on her right eye to remove skull fragments. Doctors at the University Medical Center in Tucson said Monday that the next step in recovery is her speech. Because of the tracheotomy this weekend, she is unable to speak but can mouth words. Dr. G. Michael Lemole also said the representative recognizes her husband, Mark Kelly. From her interactions with him so far, Lemole believes “higher cognitive levels of function are at least somehow, somewhat preserved.”

CNN reported Thursday that Giffords was moved to a rehabilitation center in Houston. She reportedly got out of her bed and shows “remarkable” improvement, according to doctors this week. With Giffords’ recovery comes a return to business for the House of Representatives this week. 

The House postponed the vote after the Tucson shooting. House Republicans discussed their aims to repeal last year’s health care law and cut billions in spending at a Jan. 14 GOP retreat.

Meanwhile, suspect Jared Lee Loughner faces multiple charges ranging from killing federal employees to trying to assassinate a member of Congress, NPR reported. It has not been determined whether his trial will remain in Tucson or be moved to San Diego for publicity purposes..

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