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Giffords' survival odds at '101 percent'

Giffords' survival odds at '101 percent'

January 12th, 2011 in News

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - One of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' doctors declared Tuesday she has "a 101 percent chance of surviving," as she made more progress, moving both arms and breathing on her own for the first time - just three days after a bullet shot through her brain.

Doctors emphasize she is in for a long recovery, and her neurosurgeon repeated his cautionary phrase of "she's holding her own."

But there was no denying what was clearly good news.

Giffords remains in critical condition at Tucson's University Medical Center where she was operated on Saturday after being shot during a meeting with constituents outside a Safeway supermarket. "I'm happy to say that she's holding her own," he said.

Doctors previously reported Giffords raised two fingers of her left hand and gave a thumbs-up when responding to verbal commands. Now they say she is moving her arms.

"She has a 101 percent chance of surviving," said trauma chief Dr. Peter Rhee said. "She will not die. She does not have that permission from me."

And while she can breathe on her own, Giffords still has a breathing tube in place as a precaution, said her neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole.

In their briefing Tuesday, Doctors also reversed themselves in describing the path of the bullet. They now believe she was shot on the left side of the forehead, with the bullet exiting the back.

They previously thought she had been shot in the back of the head. They came to the new conclusion after reviewing X-rays and brain scans and consulting with two outside physicians, with experience treating combat victims, who were brought in on Monday.