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Sunday, June 12th 2011

Giffords Doing Well

Gabrielle Giffords, the United States Congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in the head in an attempted assassination, has photos out of her at her rehabilitation facility after her cranioplasty, the surgery to replace the piece of skull she lost in the shooting and subsequent surgery with an artificial piece of “bone.”

It looks pretty good as far as cranioplasties go.

As for the Congresswoman’s recovery, it has apparently been slow but progressing. When Gifford’s was first shot and little information was available I was extremely relieved when it became clear the bullet had not crossed the midline or violated the ventricles in any meaningful way. However, there was and remains a lot of concern that the bullet did significant damage to the Congresswoman’s major hemisphere. As with most people Mrs. Giffords is likely left sided dominant, so that, most importantly, her speech can be localized to that hemisphere. And such seems to have been, not unsurprisingly, impacted by the injury,

Her chief of staff said that Gifford’s ability to communicate has been badly affected by the accident.

“We do a lot of inferring with her because her communication skills have been impacted the most,” Carusone said. “She is borrowing upon other ways of communicating. Her words are back more and more now, but she’s still using facial expressions as a way to express. Pointing. Gesturing. Add it all together, and she’s able to express the basics of what she wants or needs. But, when it comes to a bigger and more complex thought that requires words, that’s where she’s had the trouble.”

Her and her family will remains in my prayers as she continues to recover.