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Rep. Giffords Continues to Recover From Gunshot Wound
Date:1/13/2011

oing 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."

Reports of the events in Giffords' room followed word from her doctors Wednesday that she continued to make progress.

"She has a 101 percent chance of surviving," Rhee told the AP. "She will not die."

Lemole, Giffords' neurosurgeon, added that doctors 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 reported.

Still, experts said Giffords likely suffered some permanent damage, but it's not yet clear how extensive that damage might be.

Dr. David Langer, director of cerebrovascular research at the Cushing Neuroscience Institutes, part of North Shore/Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Great Neck, N.Y., said: "She's probably going to survive in all likelihood, but months or even a year from now we may not know what her ultimate prognosis will be."

"She'll likely have a deficit in the near term, but we don't know if she'll end up in a wheelchair like James Brady [President Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was injured by a bullet during a 1981 assassination attempt on the president] or a functioning Congresswoman. We can't know," added Langer, who was not involved with Giffords' care.

Giffords was gravely injured, 13 others were wounded, and six people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed when a 22-year-old man, Jared Loughner, pulled out a semiautomatic Glock pistol in front of a Safeway supermarket on Saturday in Tucson, where Giffords was meeting constituents. A Democrat, she was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006.

The fact that Giffords is alive is a bit of a miracle.

According to Langer, 90 percent of people with gunshot wounds to the head die.

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