Doctors optimistic about US Congresswoman day after shooting

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WASHINGTON - Doctors remained optimistic Sunday about the health of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a day after she was shot through the head in an incident that left six people dead in the US city of Tucson, Arizona.

Peter Rhee, medical director of University Medical Center’s Trauma and Critical Care, where Giffords was treated, said he remains optimistic about Giffords’ recovery, especially given the nature of her injuries.

“This is about as good as it’s going to get,” he said during a press conference broadcast live from the hospital. “The chances of you living are very small. The chances of waking up and following commands are much smaller than that.”

Doctors said they were encouraged by the fact that Giffords - who is currently in a medically induced coma - had been responsive initially after the shooting and had been able to respond to basic commands after surgery.

Giffords was shot Saturday while attending a citizen’s outreach event in her home district. Eighteen people were shot in the attack, with a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl among the dead.

Police have apprehended a man identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22, and are searching for an accomplice, reported the Washington Post. Police have said the shooter was intentionally targeting Giffords, a moderate, three-term Democrat.

That news has prompted calls in Washington for politicians from both major parties to tone down aggressive partisan rhetoric.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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