Giffords: ‘Hi, I’m good’

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head Jan. 8, told her brother-in-law on Sunday that she’s doing “good,” reports the New York Times.

Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark E. Kelly, put the Democratic congresswoman on the phone to talk to his brother Sunday afternoon.

“She said, ‘Hi, I’m good,’” Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, told the Times.

A month after an attempted assassination attempt, Giffords has made what doctors describe as miraculous progress, having scrolled through an iPad, given Kelly a back rub, opened her eyes, stepped outside, and regained her speaking ability, among other achievements.

Undergoing major speech therapy, Giffords has also started mouthing song lyrics and lip-syncing. The Times reports Giffords has been mouthing the words to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby.” With assistance and training from a friend, Giffords was videotaped mouthing the words to “Happy Birthday to You” for spouse Kelly’s upcoming birthday.

“It’s not like she’s speaking the way she spoke, but she is vocalizing and making progress every day,” Carusone said. “She’s working very hard. She’s determined. It’s a tight schedule. A copy of it is hanging on her door.”

Bedside aides have kept Giffords informed on the news, telling her about Egypt’s recent protests and political unrest, and Ariz. Sen. Jon Kyl’s decision not to seek reelection. Carusone says Giffords demonstrates awareness and recognition of what she’s been told, although it’s unclear how much of the information the congresswoman is able to process.

“We tell her everything that’s going on,” Carusone said. “Don’t get the idea she’s speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we’re saying and she’s verbalizing.”