Giffords’s Friends Narrate the Moment She Opened Her EyeBy HELENE COOPER
Just a few hours after attending a memorial service in Tucson, a giddy Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida came back to the press cabin aboard Air Force One to tell reporters about the moment when their friend, Representative Gabrielle Giffords, opened one eye for the first time since she was shot in the head on Saturday.
“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,” Ms. 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, Ms. 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,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “He said, ‘Gabby open your eyes, open your eyes’ — he is really urging her forward, and the doctor is perking up.”