Shot in the head less than a week ago, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes briefly for the first time Wednesday, with her husband, her parents and other members of Congress in the room.
“It was extraordinary,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, who was holding Giffords’ hand at the time. “It was a miracle to witness.”
The incident occurred shortly after President Barack Obama had visited Giffords in her hospital room. Less than an hour later, given permission to disclose the information by Mark Kelly, Giffords’ husband, Obama electrified a memorial-service crowd and a national television audience by revealing one of the most promising pieces of news about Gifford’s condition to emerge since an assassination attempt against her on Saturday.
Giffords was squeezing and stroking Gillibrand’s hand, as doctors previously said she had been able to do.
“She took a moment to focus, you could see she was focusing,” Gillibrand said. “And then Mark said … ‘Gabby, if you can see me, if you can see me, give us a thumbs-up … She didn’t only give a thumbs-up, she literally raised her entire hand. We were just — we couldn’t stop crying … It was just one of those moments that life brings you so rarely.”
But Giffords didn’t stop there, Gillibrand said. She reached out and grabbed her husband “and is touching him and starts to really choke him like she was really trying to hug him.” He asked her to touch his wedding ring, “and she touches his ring, 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 she is doing right now and beyond our greatest hopes.’ ”
And no, my friends, wonders will never cease.
Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. (see photo gallery)From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.
“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.
No matter how bad the crazy gets, they can’t beat all of us.