Monday, February 14, 2011

WATCH, READ: Speech Therapist: Slow down, Gabby; Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Picks George Bush Out Of A Presidential Lineup; Watch, Read Husband Capt. Kelly's Comments

NBC's Brian Williams has an exclusive interview with Capt. Mark Kelly, the husband of wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8) today.  In it, Kelly gives greater detail than ever before about the "lightning fast trajectory" - according to her neurosurgeon - that Giffords' recovery is following.

He indicates that they are having conversations (stringing together short sentences), that her physical appearance and recovery is 100%, and that she's in "a great mood" and "works really, really hard" at the rehab.

Kelly indicates that her speech therapist is now trying to get her to "slow down".  As an example, he notes that there were three cards with pictures of Presidents Bush, Obama and Washington; without knowing whether the therapist was going to ask which one is wearing a powdered wig, Giffords picked up the Bush card and identified him by name.

Giffords was shot at point blank range through the forehead in an attempted assassination attempt on January 8.  The shooter then fired at the rest of the people present for the constituent event, killing six and wounding twelve. 

The partial transcript after the jump was provided by NBC News, and does have several inaccuracies.

>> now the latest on gabrielle giffords just over a month after she was shot in the head. her husband spoke with nbc's brian williams and opened up about his wife's remarkable progress.

>> the communication is getting better every day. she reported a few days ago that she said a single word and what the word was. you know, since then this has really accelerated. you can have i guess what would be a normal conversation with her on some level. so we do communicate. i talk to her in the morning when i'm there and i talk to her in the evening.

>> so if not complete sentences, chains of words, enough so that you are having what you would define as a conversation?

>> yes. i can ask a question, she can answer them. you know, the communication is coming back very quickly.

>> that's been an extraordinary recovery. all the brain injury experts say no two are alike. they have been compared to snowflakes in their uniqueness. there was no road map to follow regarding her recovery. i guess this is just going to be the pace of her recovery.

>> that's true. her neuro surgeon dr. don kim reiterated that she's on a lightning fast trajectory. he's optimistic about, you know, the slope of the curve has a lot to do with how far you're going to get. she's proceeding rapidly.
>> in the departments of recovery -- mental and physical -- are you convinced both are coming along on par?

>> absolutely. the team here at memorial her mann is doing an incredible job. she spends most of her day in rehab and she's working hard. the progress in all areas has been very good.

>> i keep hearing, captain, that your wife's appearance is coming back to normal so that a glint in her eye that you would recognize, facial expressions, things like that, much easier to detect which makes communication easier.

>> oh, absolutely. all that stuff is 100%. i mean, she's in a great mood. she's always a very upbeat and positive person. you know, it's humbling and just interesting for me to watch her go through this. she continues to be an incredibly positive person and just really works really, really hard and understands how important this is. she's really putting everything she has into it.

>> you have become an expert at counting your blessings, i presume.

>> i have been. also an expert at appreciating other people, how much they are praying for, how much they care about her and the incredible supWe welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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