In a show of how remarkable her recovery truly is, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords may possibly released from her hospital Friday and moved to a rehabilitation center, Politico is reporting:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be released from a Tucson, Ariz., hospital Friday just under two weeks after she suffered a gunshot wound to her head.
Giffords is set to be moved from the University Medical Center to Houston’s Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Memorial Hermann hospital, KTRK-TV confirmed Wednesday.
The facility specializes in helping people recuperate from brain injuries.
The Tucson hospital issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying her discharge date “has not been confirmed.”
The recovery is no doubt especially amazing to her husband, who recounts what it was like to have heard the news reports that his wife had been killed.
Mark Kelly went into the bathroom and broke down.
He had just heard erroneous news reports that his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, had died after being shot in the head at a political event outside a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store that day, January 8. His daughters cried and his mother nearly screamed, he recalled. “To hear that she died is just, it’s devastating to me,” Kelly told Diane Sawyer in an interview broadcast Tuesday night on ABC.
Then, wracked with grief, Kelly said he called his wife’s chief of staff, who told him that the reports couldn’t be true, that Giffords’ mother was with her. Giffords was alive, the chief of staff reassured him.
NPR, who was credited for spreading the claim, has presented a refreshingly open and detailed explanation of how their reporting error happened.
At 2:08, a distraught family member called: “Scott, where the hell is NPR getting that information?”
“The close family member is a huge NPR fan or was,” said Simon. “Until that moment, he found NPR more reliable than other news outlets. He had been told that Gabby was in surgery. But he was anxious, isolated, and wondered why NPR would report such a thing if it were not true.”
Simon phoned the NPR news desk and was told the information was based on “confirmation” from the Pima County Sheriff’s department and a congressional source.
He didn’t think that was good enough.
“I couldn’t fathom how cops or pols would know more than the hospital,” said Simon. “Two sources who are not in a position to know something are not reliable sources.”
Robbins also questioned why the NPR Washington staff didn’t listen to their reporter at the scene.When he called news desk editor Denice Rios, she explained that NPR had two sources. He told her they were inadequate. Rios then pulled back on the reports and the network changed Giffords’ status.
The NPR report is a case study in how one media outlet can set off a string of bad reports. But when it comes to reporting the news of Gifford’s release we all desperately hope the Politico story is true.