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Monday
Jan172011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Reportedly Smiles at Her Husband

Photo Courtesy - DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiles at her husband and has even given him back rubs, her doctors said Monday. The tracheotomy tube in the throat of the badly-wounded Arizona congresswoman prevents her from speaking to her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, but the doctors said the smiles were important indicators.

The doctors treating Giffords at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., said at a press conference they performed surgery Saturday on Giffords' eye socket to remove bone fragments.

"At this time we're hoping to continue typing up loose ends" to get ready for the third stage of Giffords' recovery -- rehabilitation, neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole said.

On Sunday Giffords' condition was upgraded from critical to serious, a day after doctors replaced Giffords' breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube to allow her to breathe better and free her from the ventilator. Kelly said that Giffords is now moving around enough to give him a back rub.

"I keep tellin' her. I'm like, 'Gabby, you're in the ICU. You know, you don't need -- you know, you don't need to be doin' this.' But it's so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she's lookin' out for other people," Kelly told ABC News in an interview set to air Tuesday.

Kelly has been by his wife's side since the shooting on Jan. 8, rushing there from his home in Houston where he currently lives and trains for his role as NASA Astronaut Commander of space shuttle Endeavour's final mission to space this April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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