Doctors treating Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords updated the media on the congresswoman's condition this morning and say she's making tremendous progress, given the circumstances.
Doctor Peter Rhee confirmed what President Barack Obama told the world last night: Giffords opened her eyes on her own as some of her colleagues and friends visited her in the hospital yesterday.
Doctors say Giffords opened her eyes once over the weekend, as well, but it was caused by forced stimulation. When she opened them yesterday, it was under her own power.
Those treating Giffords attribute her opening her eyes yesterday to the unexpected stimulation caused by hearing the voices of so many people she knows.
The fact that Giffords is able to open her eyes, doctors say, indicates that her brain's arousal center, which controls a person's ability to awake from sleep, is functioning, which is a very good sign.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In addition to opening her eyes briefly yesterday, doctors say the congresswoman is moving all of her limbs, yawning, rubbing her eyes, which she opened again this morning for about 15 minutes.
Rhee described Giffords' vision as being similar to a person's when they just wake.
Doctors describe Giffords' progress as "a major leap, a major milestone for her."
The next step going forward, doctors say, is removing her breathing tube. Doctors are discussing when to attempt that "major milestone."