Giffords begins rehab in Houston

By Mark Stine - email

Alert, awake, calm and comfortable was how doctors described Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after they evaluated her arrival at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

And just like we've heard during the past 13 days in Tucson, doctors are confident she's heading in the right direction for her recovery.

"I'm very pleased to bring the news that the transfer of Gabby from UMC in Tucson, here to Memorial Hermann in Houston went flawlessly," Dr. Friese said.

Dr. Randy Friese made the trip with Giffords.

Friese said during the press conference in Houston, "I'm very pleased with the process and happy to turn her care over to her new team of physicians."

Once she arrived in Houston, the team of doctors gave her a complete evaluation.

"Had a great exam, she's doing great," said Dr. John Holcomb from Memorial Hermann.

And since she's doing so well, the team says she's ready for rehab.

Holcomb explained, "She's going to start her rehabilitation at 4:30 this afternoon with physical therapists and rehab specialists from TIRR will come into the ICU."

Once she begins rehabilitation, they will tailor a specific program for her recovery.

"She has great rehab potential, those three words sum it up, great rehab potential.  She's a great rehab candidate.  She will keep us busy and we will keep her busy as well," Dr. Gerard Francisco said.

Giffords will be in the ICU until at least early next week, doctors say. At that point they will reassess and see if she is ready to be moved.