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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Giffords can move legs, begins physical therapy”

Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center, reports on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords condition during a press conference held January 9, 2011.  By Thursday, doctors reported that Giffords? condition continues to improve and that she is starting physical therapy.
Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center, reports on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords condition during a press conference held January 9, 2011. By Thursday, doctors reported that Giffords? condition continues to improve and that she is starting physical therapy.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ condition continues to improve as she recovers at University Medical Center.

Dr. Peter Rhee, medical director of UMC’s Trauma and Critical Care, confirmed reports that Giffords opened her eyes last night for the first time since the shooting.

“”As you heard from the president yesterday, it is true, she did have spontaneous eye opening yesterday,”” Rhee said, “”and she’s becoming more and more alert at this time.””

Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at the UA Department of Surgery, said that Giffords has continued to open her eyes spontaneously since then and that she is beginning to focus on and track movement.

Lemole called this development “”very, very encouraging”” and said it shows Giffords is becoming aware of her surroundings.

Giffords has also begun physical therapy and was able to move both of her legs on command when asked by doctors.

“”I have to say this is a major leap forward,”” Lemole said. “”This is a major milestone for her. We’re hoping she crosses through many more.””

Rhee also said Giffords’ breathing tube will be removed some time in the next few days.

Of the four other patients currently in “”fair”” condition at UMC, one is scheduled to undergo surgery while another will be discharged from care. Rhee said all patients are making steady progress toward recovery.  

Police officials confirmed they found a bag they believe is the one alleged gunman Jared Loughner was carrying with him on Saturday.

Rick Kastigar, chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, told The Associated Press the bag contained ammunition and was found by an 18-year-old man walking his dog on the northwest side of Tucson.

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