Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes Wednesday, President Barack Obama told an overflow audience during his speech at a tribute to her and the others injured or killed during a massacre outside a Tucson supermarket last weekend.
Obama unexpectedly delivered the report on Giffords, who was shot through the head in an attempted assassinaton, while speaking at the University of Arizona’s McKale Center Wednesday.
While Giffords’ husband, astronaut husband Mark Kelly, looked on, Obama said that shortly after he left Giffords at University Medical Center, she had opened her eyes for the first time since she was shot. That news brought tears and cheers from the audience.
According to The Arizona Republic, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida told CNN that she was in the hospital room when Giffords opened her eyes.
Schultz told Giffords she had to recover quickly because she wanted her to visit her this summer at her New Hampshire house.
In response, Giffords opened her eyes. When her husband asked her to to touch him, she started rubbing his arm.
It’s good news about Giffords, but her recovery is still likely to be long and challenging, as The Arizona Republic explained earlier in the day Wednesday.