Representatives Gabrielle Giffords (left), Kirsten Gillibrand (center), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (right) in a photo taken in 2009

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz on visiting Gabrielle Giffords in hospital yesterday:

SENATOR GILLIBRAND: Well, we were very excited that we were even going to have the chance of getting to visit her hospital room…. we were telling her how proud we were of her and how she was inspiring the whole nation with her courage and with her strength. And then Debbie and I started joking about all the things we were going to do after she got better. And we were holding her hand and she was responding to our hand-holding. She was rubbing our hands and gripping our hands … we knew she could hear and understand what we were saying and she moved her leg, and so we knew she was responding. And the more we joked about what we were going to do, she started to open her eyes literally.

… her eyes hadn’t opened — we didn’t know that — and so she started to struggle. And one of her eyes is covered with a bandage because it was damaged in the gunfire. So her eye is flickering. And Mark sees this and gets extremely excited. … so he said, Gabby, open your eyes, open your eyes. And he’s really urging her forward. And the doctor is like perking up and everyone is coming around the bed. And she’s struggling and she’s struggling … maybe 30 seconds, where she’s really trying to get her eyes open….

And then she finally opens her eyes and you could she was like desperately trying to focus and it took enormous strength from her. And Mark could just — can’t believe it. I mean, he’s so happy. And we’re crying because we’re witnessing something that we never imagined would happen in front of us.

And so Mark says, he says — he said, Gabby, if you can see me, give us the thumbs up, give us the thumbs up. And so we’re waiting and we’re waiting and —


SENATOR GILLIBRAND: … she’s really trying to focus … you could see she hadn’t opened her eyes in days. And then instead of giving the thumbs up, she literally raises her whole arm like this — like this. It was unbelievable. And then she reaches out and starts grabbing Mark and is touching him and starts to nearly choke him — she was clearly trying to hug him.

…. it was such a moment. And we were just in tears of joy watching this and beyond ourselves, honestly. And then Mark said, you know, touch my ring, touch my ring. And she touches his ring and then she grabs his whole watch and wrist. And then the doctor was just so excited. He said, you don’t understand, this is amazing, what’s she’s doing right now, and beyond our greatest hopes.

Full account of the visit here

9 Responses to “courage”

  1. 1 A.L.Zymers
    January 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Ah, you beat me to the link, Chipsticks! I was so moved after reading it
    at TPM I wanted to send it far and wide. I could hear again the explosive
    celebration from the crowd at the Tucson memorial when the President made
    the announcement, “Gabby, opened her eyes.” It was fraught with all sorts of
    symbolic meaning as well. I got the impression that in it was the urgency
    of renewed hope.

    In fact, a Republican caller on C-Span–apparently and older woman–said something
    on the order of her eyes being opened as she remarked on the words of the President,
    and on the biblical readings of the speakers. It shored-up her faith or something.
    Funny, how much ignorance has been fostered by traditional media’s sabotaging of
    the information stream.

    Thank you for working so hard to bring us this wonderful site!

    • January 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Isn’t it just the most uplifting story, A.L.? In the middle of this pain and tragedy Gabrielle Giffords’ courage, and the love of the people around her, can give us all hope.

  2. January 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    That was an extremely moving and exciting experience. I wondered to myself about all the people in that hospital room, it was like a rally. I guess it was a rally and I know it was the excitement and movement and talking that got that eye open. It was a wonderful moment and I’m so glad we were all able to experience, albeit second hand, that positive breakthrough. Thank you for posting it Chipsticks. It’s a wonderful gift and gives us hope that Gabby Giffords will get back in the thick of things.

    Love her, love everyone there and here, and love our president.

    • January 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Hiya Joan, isn’t it just the most beautiful story? I honestly worried about the number of visitors allowed to see her yesterday, but it just seemed to give this remarkable woman even more energy to fight back. A sparkling ray of hope in the middle of all this sadness. Love you Joan.

  3. 5 Jessica
    January 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Debbie is quite the fighter also. She has had seven operations from breast cancer (including a double mastectomy), three kids, and of course she’s a busy congresswomen. Don’t know how she does it.

  4. 6 Theo67
    January 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    This is amazing, and the energy from Rep. Schultz and Sen. Gillibrand came through in the story. Clearly very exciting. I recommend reading the entire post at the link – quite human, actually. One forgets that these people we see on TV are really just people with highly visible job, but facing the same challenges, joys, hopes as the rest of us. Just normal people.

  5. January 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    This is so wonderful. The women said 5 minutes after he walked out of the door she opened her eyes. You know, remember when the right wing kept calling President Obama The Messiah? Well that was the first thing that came to my mind when he told of her opening her eyes. Spirit lead and God fed.

    During the campaign somehow different pictures would appear with a bright halo in the backround or over his head. That was when the right started calling him the Messiah. Well with the love that radiated from that speech last night. They got me thinking. Thus they may laugh to much. LOL

    We have a special President, and every time someone try to bring him down he bounce right back bigger and better than ever.I’m glad he came to spend some time with her and the people of AZ. I know they appreciated it. I’m so proud of Gabbie.

    • 8 majii
      January 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      I agree, Brezzydee,

      There is power in prayer. As I was rearing my daughter, I emphasized the power of prayer to her repeatedly. I still do. I firmly believe God reveals, through events like this in which Congresswoman Giffords responded so well to her colleagues, which people are among the true believers.

  6. 9 Sue in Minnesota
    January 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Tears of joy……Nancy Pelosi, interviewed on KO’s show last night, stated that it was a miraculous experience. I felt her joy radiating through her words. Continued thoughts and prayers for Congresswoman Giffords as she navigates the challenging journey ahead of her. May she always be aware of the love and support surrounding her.

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