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Gabrielle Giffords' Breathing Tube Could be Removed Today

Gabrielle Giffords' recovery has been described as "miraculous."
Gabrielle Giffords' recovery has been described as "miraculous."

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to be miraculous after being shot through the brain one week ago today, and doctors treating the congresswoman say her breathing tube could be removed as early as today.

"We couldn't have hoped for any better improvement than we are seeing now given the severity of her injury," Dr. Michael Lemole, a neurosurgeon at University Medical Center who has been treating Giffords.

Doctors reported yesterday that Giffords has been opening her eyes more frequently since miraculously opening them on her own for the first time since the shooting after a visit from President Barack Obama and some of her congressional colleagues.

Doctors also said Giffords was moving all of her limbs, performing more complex brain tasks, and is breathing on her own.

Despite breathing on her own, her breathing tube was left in place to prevent fluid from building in her lungs, which could lead to pneumonia.

Doctors say they're hopeful the tube could be removed today, which they've called the next milestone in her recovery.

Once the breathing tube is removed, Giffords can be moved from the intensive care unit of the hospital to a normal hospital ward, where doctors can see how her speech has been affected and will continue to work on her recovery.


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