Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ doctor, Michael Lemole, said that the congresswoman is now able to stand up and scroll through her iPad, signs of “significant progress,” but predicted a “long road ahead of her.”
Giffords will leave the Arizona hospital and enter a rehab facility in Houston, Texas on Friday, and her husband explained the selection of the out-of-state hospital in the press conference this afternoon.
“I think as Gabby moves into the next phase of her recovery, she's going to need to continue to be strong, and she will really appreciate the support of this community,” said Mark Kelly, an astronaut, noting that being in Houston is “going to let me be there by her side as much as possible.”
Kelly said he was extremely thankful for the work done by the hospital staff in Tucson, saying that he was sure that Giffords would be “back walking through" the halls of the hospital withing a couple of months and "back at work soon"
One of the major hurtles left in Giffords’ recovery is whether she will be able to speak, something that Kelly believes she has made an effort to do.
“I feel she’s made some attempts, she has a tracheostomy, intellectually she knows that’s there, she knows what it means,” he said. “In my mind, she’s made some attempts.”
When asked to elaborate, Kelly said, "“She’ll smile at me, she’ll do a couple things she’ll only do around me, like pat me on the face. She used to do that before, very gently. I can just look at her eyes and tell. She’s well aware of who’s around her.”