Gabrielle Giffords Able to Stand With Help From Doctors

The same day it was announced that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords would be moved to a hospital in Houston to begin rehab as early as Friday, the hospital announced another milestone in her recovery: she stood up.

The hospital announced yesterday that Giffords -- with the help of medical staff -- stood on her own two feet, which is remarkable considering she was shot, as doctors described it, "through the brain" just 12 days ago.

"I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting. The team of doctors and nurses at UMC has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase," Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, said in a statement released yesterday.

Giffords will be moved -- possibly as early as tomorrow -- to the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann in Houston, where Kelly lives with his two daughters.

"The congresswoman's family wants to ensure she receives the best rehabilitative care possible for her type of serious, penetrating brain injury," Dr. Michael Lemole, one of the congresswoman's neurosurgeons at Tucson's University Medical Center, said yesterday.

In 2010, TIRR was ranked as the fifth-best hospital in the country for rehabilitation by U.S. News and World Report Magazine. Giffords recovery at TIRR will include things like therapy for things like motor skills and speech.

It's still unclear whether Giffords will be able to speak, but doctors remain optimistic that Giffords talking could be the next milestone in her miraculous recovery.
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James King
Contact: James King