It is such good news that Gabrielle Giffords’ condition has been upgraded and that the tube has been removed. It is also wonderful that many people associated with her care have been extremely positive in their remarks. What we must not lose sight of is the less exciting fact that her recovery will not be the fast-paced story that has entranced and encouraged her well-wishers everywhere.
The public nature of her recovery will provide much-needed information to the millions of people who know little about brain injury. We will all have to learn to be patient as we see what it means when physicians describe recovery as a marathon rather than a sprint.
What we must remember as she progresses is that the medical resources available to her are extraordinary. Few families facing this sort of trauma will be able to afford such rehabilitative services. Others might be able to pay for these services but lack access because of where they live. We are so grateful that she is getting wonderful care. We just wish other survivors had similar opportunities.
Meanwhile, let us be glad for her continued improvement and keep her in our prayers.