Gabrielle Giffords: An Update

As a Tucsonan and a registered Arizona Democrat, I find it my responsibility to provide a quick update on the condition of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, one of the strongest, most incredible women Scripps has produced, in my opinion. So here we go: Recap: Arizona Representative and Scripps Alumna Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head earlier this year by 22-year-old Jared Loughner. Loughner pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges and is suspected to be mentally ill. He just recently returned to Tucson, AZ after five weeks of psychological testing in Missouri and his competency hearing is May 25. The court wants to see his medical/psychological records and e-mails, but his lawyers are fighting against it. Yuck.

Since then, Giffords has improved remarkably, outstandingly, fantastically, phenomenally, incredibly – you get the idea. Of course, doctors can’t say much about her recovery because of patient privacy laws, but we do know that Gabby can walk with assistance, has regained most of her speech and does not appear to have memory problems. She underwent a craniectomy, which basically consists of making sure her brain doesn’t swell from the damage. In about a month she will undergo a cranioplasty, where they’ll replace her removed skull. For now she wears a protective helmet. She opened her eyes for the first time a month after she was shot and asked for toast with her breakfast.

Earlier this week President Obama visited Giffords and her family before her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, left for the Endeavor launching in Florida. Witnesses who saw her while boarding the plane to Florida say the Congresswoman has some trouble using the right side of her body, but uses her left side to pull herself up the steps one-by-one. Please, think about everything that goes into walking and talking and reread this.

In case you don’t get it: this woman was shot in the head in January and is boarding a plane more or less by herself only four months later. Just saying. Amazing woman. She went to Scripps. That’s right. What. A. Boss.

Keep praying for Gabby Giffords, everyone. Thanks.

Sara Cronin