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This is stunning:

NEW YORK — Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is breathing on her own, one of the doctors treating her said Tuesday.

Dr. Michael Lemole, the chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center in Tucson, said at a news conference that the congresswoman is still following simple commands, although she remains on a breathing tube to protect against complications such as pneumonia. She's alert and responding to doctors.

link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

I've teared up several times over the course of this tragedy, but this news is making me tear up again. Having experienced the ups and downs of a watching a close relative in ICU, I understand on a gut level what this means for her family and loved ones.

This is very, very, very good news.

Just a short diary, but wanted to share this great news with the community.

On a separate note, I've been reflecting on MLK and nonviolence in the context of the debate over the vitriol in our politics.

Posting this as some food for thought:

Update from sullivanst in the comments:

LeMole added that because of the nature of gunshot wounds to the head, Giffords "has no right to look this good, and she does." But "we all have to be extremely patient."

link: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

In addition to the many acts of heroism in the wake of the tragedy, the actions of the intern on the scene who gave Rep. Giffords first aid, and the doctors and nurses and paramedics who were able to treat her immediately and facilitate her recovery are simply amazing.

Update 2 from buddabelly, link to local news coverage: http://www.kold.com/

Update 3 Link to the vid of the press conference with the victim's families: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/... . The remarks of the husband of Susan Hileman, the woman who took 9 year old Christina Green to the event, are heartbreaking. It seems Mrs. Hileman has been screaming Christina's name in her sleep. Please send all positive thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Hileman and these families, as they will continue to need them.

Update 4 CNN is live streaming Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's State of the State remarks, where I'm sure she will discuss the tragic events of Saturday: http://www.cnn.com/...

Update 5 Governor Brewer's remarks were heartfelt, respectful and struck the right tone. She actually didn't give a State of the State today, and instead used the occassion to address the tragedy. In my opinion, this is responsible governance, and we - or I, at least - need to point out the good as well as call out the bad.

Looking forward to the President's remarks later this week. We need leadership right now, and I am certain this president will provide it.

Additionally, from gulfgal98, a link to Bob Woodruff's comments on receiving a traumatic injury to the head and his thoughts on Congresswoman Giffords condition: http://abcnews.go.com/...

Originally posted to grannyhelen on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM PST.

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