Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords underwent three-and-one half hours of intensive surgery on Wednesday to restore the part of her skull that was removed to relieve swelling after the initial injury to brain. A ceramic prosthesis was grafted because doctors could not use the original bone, which was both shattered and contaminated by the bullet.
On Thursday, she was resting in an intensive care unit and her doctors have said that this surgery is a milestone in her arduous journey to recovery from a gunshot wound to the head last January in a Tucson supermarket. The shooting rampage claimed six lives, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.
Although her progress has been nothing short of miraculous, her return to work is not imminent. The part of the brain affected by her injury controls speech and mobility, two skills this once eloquent speaker will have to learn all over again.
The surgery was performed at Memorial Hermann Hospital as her astronaut husband was orbiting in space as captain of the space shuttle, Endeavour. His decision to accept the mission during his wife’s recovery was a tough one, as he has been by her side constantly since the shooting.
Gifford’s future is bright and brimming with promise, for she is a valiant woman and a tireless fighter. Her devoted staff keeps her informed of world events as she struggles to recover from the devastating injury.
We are all with you, Gabrielle!
Hang in there!
You can do it!