THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In an unscripted moment during his speech Wednesday at the "Together We Thrive: Tucson and America" memorial, President Barack Obama said Rep. Gabrielle Giffords "opened her eyes" shortly after his visit with her and her husband Mark Kelly at University Medical Center in Tucson, CBS News reported.
An aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confirmed that Pelosi, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) were in the hospital room when Giffords opened her eyes. The three women are all close friends of Giffords, the news network said.
During his speech, Obama said, "Gabby opened her eyes for the first time. I can tell you, she knows we are here, she knows we love her, and she knows that we are rooting for her through what is undoubtedly going to be a difficult journey. We are there for her."
According to USA Today, Wasserman Schultz said the events inside Giffords' hospital room Wednesday were like "watching a miracle."
Gillibrand and Wasserman Schultz talked with reporters as they flew back from Tucson and their quotes came from a pool report distributed to all news media, USA Today reported.
Reports of the events in Giffords' hospital room followed word from her doctors Wednesday that the Arizona Congresswoman continues to make progress. She was breathing on her own and moving both arms -- just four days after an assassin's bullet struck her brain.
"She has a 101 percent chance of surviving," Dr. Peter Rhee, chief of trauma at Tucson's University Medical Center told the Associated Press. "She will not die."
Dr. Michael Lemole, Giffords' neurosurgeon, added that doctors have left a breathing tube in the 40-year-old woman to protect her airways, but she is drawing breaths on her own, and is alert and responding to doctors, the AP repo
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