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Representative’s Battle with Traumatic Brain Injury


40-year-old U.S. Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Gifford’s announced plans to travel to Cape Canaveral to watch her NASA astronaut-husband Mark Kelly launch into space on the next Space Shuttle flight.

The Congresswoman is improving, but she is still recovering from a bullet wound to her left-cerebral hemisphere. She was shot in the head at point-blank range by 22-year-old community college student. The young man also killed six other people in the incident.

Her Suffolk doctor said, “Medically, there is no reason she could not travel safely to Florida to participate in this incredible event with her husband.”

Questions regarding Gifford’s recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury continue to plague her PR team who insist she’s made dramatic progress since the assassination attempt in January. She recently transferred to an intensive rehab facility, where it is hoped she will regain cognitive functions like her grossly impaired speech.

“Nearly five months since her brain injury, Gifford’s displays severe aphasia, pervasive impairment of her expressive language ability.  While it’s tempting to draw conclusions about Gifford’s recovery from TBI, traveling to attend her husband’s launch isn’t correlated with her rehab.  Any patient with stable vital signs, regardless of brain damage, can be transported safely from one location to another,” a doctor admits.

Gaby’s husband, Mark, recently admitted that his wife’s medical team hasn’t yet told her about the six deaths and numerous injuries that occurred at the same time as her accident.  While there’s nothing wrong with giving the Congresswoman adequate time for rehab, there are real questions, nearly five months later, on whether she’ll return for duty as a U.S. Representative.

If Ms. Gifford’s neuro-rehabilitation team were to admit the truth, they may likely say that it’s doubtful she’ll recover much more of her impaired speech, which invites real questions about her fitness for duty.  A Nassau doctor reveals that while there is a chance to recover more functions five months after her brain injury, restoring all her cognitive and speech functions grows more unlikely by the day.

While the day is sure to be special for the Giffords, it in no way should be seen as a marker of vast improvement or advancement through therapy. We all hope the best for Ms. Gifford’s, but should remind ourselves of the severity of a brain injury like hers.

What happened to Representative Gifford’s is horrible. The loss of ability and function is incalculable. If you are attacked by another and suffer a traumatic brain injury, seek out the legal counsel of a New York Brain Injury Attorney.

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