“It’s hard to speculate on the trajectory or course that any one patient will have,” he said.
Sometimes, areas of the brain that seem damaged can recover, said Mark Sherer, a neuropsychologist at the rehab center.
“Some of the tissue is temporarily dysfunctional, so the patient appears very impaired very early on after the injury,” but may not be permanently damaged, he said.
“I know one of the first things Gabby is going to want to do as soon as she’s able to is start writing thank you notes,” he said.
Dave Sanderson stood along the ambulance route as Giffords left, along with his dog who had an American flag attached to its collar. Sanderson said he’s been coming to the memorial outside the hospital every day since the shooting happened.
“I just wanted to wish her well and the best of luck,” he said.
Ramit Plushnick-Masti contributed reporting from Houston. Bryan reported from Tucson, Ariz. AP aerospace writer Marcia Dunn contributed to this story from Cape Canaveral, Fla.