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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Giffords ‘Has no Right to Look This Good’

January 11, 2011 - 12:59 PM | by: Mike Tobin

“She has no right to look this good and she does.” Those words from Dr. Michael Lemole, the neurosurgeon treating Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  He announced that doctors had turned off her ventilator. “She is breathing on her own,” He said. The ventilator tubes, however, have been left in place to prevent the possibility of pneumonia setting in.

One of the reasons they continue to keep her sedated, Lemole said, is that when she wakes, she attempts to remove the breathing tubes.

Combined with the simple communications she has made and the time she has spent recovering without a complication, doctors are very encouraged about her changes.  Chief Trauma Surgeon Peter Rhee told Fox News he was “100%” certain that the congresswoman would make a recovery. Lemole says he’s seen patients backslide even this far along, “It’s week to week, month to month.”