Giffords off ventilator, hospital says
January 15th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Giffords off ventilator, hospital says

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been taken off a ventilator and is breathing on her own through a tracheotomy tube, the University Medical Center of Tucson, Arizona announced Saturday.

Surgeons on Saturday also inserted a feeding tube so the congresswoman could get nutrients.

In addition, one other person injured last Saturday's Arizona shooting - James Tucker, 58 - was released from the medical center on Saturday, leaving three people still at the hospital.

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Filed under: Arizona • Crime • Politics • U.S.
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Nick

    I cannot wait until we see Giffords walk up to a podium and speak again.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce in VA

      That is a fantastic thought. This is just a guess, but if that happens, it could be the most covered, most watched, most anticipated political event ever.

      January 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annie Maytum

      I can't wait for that moment either. Its going to happen, I have faith!

      January 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • neener

      Having had a brain injury (very minor in comparison of course) I can say her recovery is going to be long and frankly wierd. When you hurt your arm it hurts and you know it's better because it stops hurting. A brain injury is different because it doesn't hurt you just know something is very wrong and it is confusing. The portion of her brain that was hurt controls speech. Hopefully she'll be able to re-learn what was lost. It is possible but I wouldn't expect anything earlier than AT LEAST 6 months. I am not politically behind Gabrielle (though there are much worse out there.) But I am fully behind her as a human and as a person brave enough to take part in politics.

      January 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I wouldn't expect anything less than 6 months from a typical patient being shot in the brain, but she's making great strides so rapidly, I do expect something before that, to be honest.

      January 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • cobalt60

      She is coming along just fine. I imagine that the surgeons had to remove a large portion of the cerebellum but that shouldn't have any effect on her proficiency and ability to conduct affairs in the House. She will be equal as all other members. I even think that she will soon be addressing a joint session of Congress.

      January 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske

      Nick. You are a fool and stupid. That will never ever happen. What? do think the guy shot her in the head with a spitwad? The 9mm slug passed through her forehead in a downward direction and out the back of her head.
      I don't know. Maybe anti death penalty liberals have a passageway for bullets to travel through that part of their brain without causing them to be damaged significantly.
      It would explain their stupidity and failure to believe God corrects mistakes made by verdicts. We should execute every person held on deathrows immediately.

      January 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tntaangela

    Amen to that!

    January 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brandon

    She has to be one of the strongest people ever.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tntaangela

    I meant that Amen for Nick's comment re speaking again

    January 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AC

    PLAYBOY could have both PALIN and BRISTOL in the same values special

    January 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      They better hurry up. Both of them are losing what looks they had real fast. Maybe a 3-some with that other brain trust – Snooki.

      January 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcan

    Great news! I pray for all the victims of this hate criem.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ann J.

    It is good that a Level 1 trauma center was nearby. I appreciated the special hour on Saturday with Dr. Sanjay G. It was informative about Ms Giffords, but a teaching time about gunshot wounds and neurological care.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. well wishes

    We just want to see your smiling face again.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. thymat

    All the best Gabby. We are all praying for your complete recovery up here in Canada.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa

    For your information, having worked in neurosurgery as a PA, a trach and a feeding tube ARE better, because those are significant steps toward a meaningful recovery and both can be removed easily without detriment to the patient when they are breathing/eating on their own. That they went ahead with both of these procedures so quickly is a strong testament as to how miraculously Representative Giffords is recovering. The media is not overplaying this and hooray for all of the wonderful doctors and health car workers for doing such a great job for all of the injured victims!!

    January 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • SurRy

      Thank you for a voice of reason.

      January 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bryan

    Actually a trach is much better. She will have a decreased chance of developing pneumonia and will be even be able to talk when able. A trach and a feeding tube are actually very normal when missing half of your skull.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jan

    As an RN, I can tell you that a trach is MUCH better than being on a ventilator. Many people eventually grow strong enough to have the trach removed, but being off the vent is the first big step. Feeding tubes are also a transitional help.The article doesn't say whether the feeding tube is a nasal canula or was inserted into her abdomen. Either is a big improvement over starving. She was just shot a week ago. For Heaven's sake, she's doing great.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. KB

    That's wonderful ! This has all been so terrible. Finally good news, may be now I, can stop biting my cheek evertime I watch CNN for an update on her condition.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. trish marbury

    yay. guess nick is just generally angry. poor thing. thanks for the info re: why trach/feeding tube are better. her recovery is nothing less than inspirational.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • trish marbury

      whoops. dang nick so sorry. i meant that zach character. forgive me. i'm w/ you & cannot wait to see congresswoman giffords @ the podium again, also. again. apologies all over the place.

      January 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alisa

    That's excellent news!she's is the definition of a wonder woman. God bless her & the other that suffered in this ordeal.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
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