Gabrielle Giffords Transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston


RAW VIDEO: A helicopter took Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the Houston airport to the ICU at Texas Medical Center, where she’ll be evaluated before going to the center’s rehabilitation hospital.

Yesterday Gabrielle Giffords felt the sunshine on her face for the first time since the January 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson, AZ, as doctors prepared her to leave behind the Arizona hospital where she has progressed well with a rapid recovery from a brain injury.

Today Gabrielle Giffords was on her way to Houston, Texas. She was transported from University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona by a specialized ambulance to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. A jet awaiting her arrival flew her to Hobby Airport in Houston. Next, a medical helicopter transported her to the roof of Memorial Hermann Hospital where she will be evaluated in the Intensive Care Unit, and then transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann — a world-renowned Houston rehabilitation center. Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly; her mother, Gloria; trauma surgeon Peter Rhee; a nurse; and two congressional staffers accompanied her on the two-hour journey to Houston.


TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Memorial Hermann has been designated as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System with funding by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The NIDRR TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Model Systems program began in 1987 and is the largest research program on recovery from TBI in the world. The TBI Model Systems study database is the largest database on traumatic brain injury.

TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, and outcome can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. The 20th century saw critical developments in diagnosis and treatment which decreased death rates and improved outcome. These include imaging techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Depending on the injury, treatment required may be minimal or may include interventions such as medications and emergency surgery. Physical therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy, and occupational therapy may be employed for rehabilitation.

Giffords is currently serving her third term in the United States House of Representatives, having been re-elected in the 2010 midterm elections.