Barack Obama | Gabrielle Giffords | Michelle Obama | News | Tucson

Watch: 'Gabby Opened Her Eyes for the First Time'


Certainly the most moving (unscripted) moment of last night's ceremony.


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand came back aboard Air Force One following the ceremony (Gillibrand, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, and Nancy Pelosi were in Giffords hospital room when she opened her eyes) and told the press gathered there:

“We were telling her how proud we were of her and how she was inspiring the whole nation with her courage and with her strength,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Then Debbie and I started joking about all the things we were going to do when she got better. We were holding her hand, and she was responding to our hand holding, she was rubbing her hands and she was gripping our hands so we could … we knew she could hear and understand what we were saying, she moved her leg. we knew she was responding.”

And then, Sen. Gillibrand said, one of Ms. Giffords’s eyes started to twitch. (Her other eye was bandaged because it was damaged in the gunfire).

“Her eye is flickering and Mark sees this and gets extremely excited,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “He said ‘Gabby open your eyes, open your eyes,’ — he is really urging her forward, and the doctor is perking up.”

Sen. Gillibrand said that around 30 seconds later, “she finally opens her eyes, and you could tell she was desperately trying to focus.”

She described Mr. Kelly as “so happy,” and said that she and others in the room were crying.

“Mark says ‘if you can see me, give us the thumbs up,’” Sen. Gillibrand said. And instead of giving a thumbs up, Ms. Giffords raised her whole arm, and later reached out to touch her husband’s ring.

Wasserman-Schultz compared the moment to the birth of her children.

(the caucus)

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  1. Will she ever be the same again? It's is a head injury. Lucky she isn't brain damaged.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 13, 2011 7:32:03 AM

  2. Definitely a highlight from the speech. I didn't catch the whole thing, but from what I saw Obama did a great job as "comforter in chief" and in recognizing the victims and the heroes.

    Posted by: Gregor | Jan 13, 2011 8:57:36 AM

  3. As soon as I saw Michelle holding his hand I started to tear up.

    Posted by: Damen | Jan 13, 2011 9:24:34 AM

  4. I sobbed through that whole speech. Thank you, Mr. President.

    Posted by: michael | Jan 13, 2011 1:25:09 PM

  5. Rowan, the brain is an amazing thing. While it will probably take her a while to recover, there's a very good chance at this point that she's going to have a very good recovery.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 13, 2011 2:23:02 PM

  6. For the right wing to criticize this gathering yesterday shows that they have learned nothing and have no plans on changing.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jan 13, 2011 3:00:15 PM

  7. This is what a Commander in Chief does for a Nation who looks for a leader to set a tone of hope and strength...and how about our First Lady? Love. Her.

    Posted by: Donny with a "D" | Jan 13, 2011 5:36:16 PM

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