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ISS Crew and Moment of Silence for Victims of Tucson Tragedy

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 10-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

NASA has posted on its YouTube channel a video of International Space Station (ISS) Commander Scott Kelly's comments leading into the national moment of silence today to honor the victims of the shooting in Tucson, AZ on Saturday. Kelly's sister-in-law, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was the primary target of the shooting that killed six and left her in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.

Giffords' Neurosurgeon says "No Change," and That's Good News

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 10-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

At a press brefiing at University Medical Center (UMC) that just concluded, the neurosurgeon treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said there is no change in her condition, and that "at this phase in the game no change is good, she is still following those basic commands."

Dr. Michael Lemole reported that there is no progression of brain swelling and each day there is no increase "we are slightly more optimistic." He and Dr. Peter Rhee, chief of trauma at UMC, explained that brain swelling usually peaks in the third day, and today is day two of her post-operative phase. Dr. Lemole cautioned, however, that it can be as long as 10 days.

Dr. Rhee said that there are eight patients still at UMC: 5 in serious condition, 2 in good condition, and one in critical condition (Rep. Giffords). The other two patients who were brought to UMC have been discharged.

Dr. Rhee emphasized that trauma care is more than just healing physical wounds, that emotional care is also very important. The hospital deals with the patient as a whole. He pointed out that some of the patients had lost loved ones in the shooting and the hospital was providing medical care for depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional challenges.

Dr. Lemole declined to go into any specific details about how responsive Rep. Giffords is to commands or what commands she is responding to or other details about her condition. She is on a ventilator and unable to speak; Dr. Rhee said that it normally is 4-5 days before a ventilator would be removed in circumstances like this. The Congresswoman's family is with her.

The next scheduled UMC press briefing on Rep. Giffords is scheduled for 10:00 am local time (noon EST) on Wednesday.

Editor's note: although the statement was made at this press conference on Monday that the next briefing would be on Wednesday, the UMC did hold a briefing on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Most of the briefing was statements by family members of two of the victims. However, the Arizona Daily Star reported that doctors said that Rep. Giffords is able to breathe on her own, but remains connected to a breathing machine to aid in her recovery.

Giffords' Husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly, Issues Statement

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 10-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:13 PM)

NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, issued a statement through Rep. Giffords' office expressing appreciation for the "outpouring of support."

UPDATE: WIA, USA and Other Statements About Rep. Giffords

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

UPDATE: Links to statements from additional groups have been added.

Many companies and organizations in the space "family" are issuing statements of concern and support for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is in critical condition after being shot yesterday along with 19 others in Tucson, AZ. Among them are United Space Alliance (USA) and Women in Aerospace (WIA).

USA says on its website:

"Today was a very sad day for the NASA family and the American public with the shooting of our friend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of all those injured and killed today, and are especially with Congresswoman Giffords' husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly; her parents; her children; and, of course, with the Congresswoman herself.

"Congresswoman Giffords is an optimistic, dynamic and upbeat Member of Congress. She is deeply respected for her many contributions to our nation on a wide variety of issues including the space program. We join her constituents, her colleagues in Congress and the entire NASA family in wishing Congresswoman Giffords a full and speedy recovery

WIA's website has the following statement: "Women in Aerospace sends our most heartfelt support to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, family, friends, and constituents, and all who have been impacted by today's very sad events in Arizona. Gabby is a friend of WIA, and our thoughts are with her and everyone fighting to heal from this tragedy."

Other groups issuing statements include:

As we reported earlier, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden issued a statement yesterday.

Note: An earlier version of this story referenced a USA statement that was on Facebook. The current statement is on USA's website.

UPDATE: Tucson Shooting: Six who Perished

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

UPDATE: On Sunday, January 9, law enforcement officials raised to 20 the number of people who were injured in the shooting.

ORIGINAL STORY: News outlets including Tucson's KOLD-TV's Twitter feed are reporting the names of the six people who died today as a result of the attack of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition at a Tucson medical facility. The current count is that 19 people were shot, rather than 18 as earlier reported. Those who reportedly died are:

  • Christina Greene, 9
  • Gabe Zimmerman, 30, a member of Rep. Giffords' staff
  • John Roll, 63, a federal judge
  • Dorothy Murray, 76
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76
  • Phyllis Schech, 79

News Reports: Giffords Responsive to Simple Commands

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:15 PM)

The Twitter feed for Tucson's KOLD-TV and other news sources report on a press conference about an hour ago at the University Medical Center where doctors said that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was responsive to commands after surgery for a shot to the head suffered yesterday in a shooting in Tucson.

Doctors reportedly said that she was in a medically induced coma, but they wake her up from time to time to determine if she can respond to simple commands. Rep. Giffords is the only one of the wounded who remains in critical condition; the other survivors have been moved out of the intensive care unit according to KOLD. Six people were killed in the attack.

KOLD quotes doctors at the UMC as saying that speculating on her recovery is not "productive" but that the ability to respond to commands implies a high level functioning of the brain. The bullet when through the left side of her brain from back to front, according to KOLD's report.

House Postpones All Legislative Action for Next Week

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that the House will postpone all legislative action scheduled for next week "so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today's tragedy."

Events of Interest: Week of January 9-14, 2011

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:13 PM)

The following events may of interest in the coming week. Note that the House postponed all legislative actions this week in the wake of the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and others in Tucson yesterday. The Senate is in recess until January 25.

Sunday-Thursday, January 9-13

  • American Astronomical Society meeting, Seattle, Washington. A number of sessions are planned on space astronomy topics plus "town hall" meetings. The following may be of special interest (all times local):
    • Town Hall meeting on James Webb Space Telescope, Jan. 10, 6:30-8:30 pm
    • Town Hall meeting on the New Worlds New Horizons ("Astro2010") Decadal Survey released last year, Jan. 11, 12:45-1:45 pm
    • NASA Town Hall, Jan. 12, 12:45 - 1:45 pm

Monday-Wednesday, January 10-12

  • NRC Decadal Survey on Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) Panel on Solar and Heliospheric Physics, Room 109, Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., NW, Washington DC. Some sessions of this meeting may be closed.

Tuesday, January 11

Wednesday, January 12

Comments from ISS Commander Scott Kelly on the Shooting of His Sister-in-Law, Rep. Giffords

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:13 PM)

International Space Station (ISS) commander Scott Kelly issued the following statement through NASA about the tragic events in Tucson yesterday where his sister-in-law, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others were shot. Six died, and Rep. Giffords, who is married to Mark Kelly, Scott's twin brother and fellow astronaut, is in critical condition.

"I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, words of condolences and encouragement for the victims and their families of this horrific event. My sister-in-law, Gabrielle Giffords is a kind, compassionate, brilliant woman, loved by friends and political adversaries alike- a true patriot. What is going on in our country that such a good person can be the subject of such senseless violence? It's a sad day."

UMC News Conference About Rep. Giffords' Status Expected at 3:30 EST Today

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 08-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:17 PM)

Update 2: There were just some introductory remarks, so presumably the press conference will start quite soon.

Update: KOLD says the press conference will begin "momentarily."

Original story: A CBS television affiliate in Tucson, KOLD News 13, is saying on the air and its Twitter feed that the University Medical Center (UMC) will hold a press conference at 1:30 local time (3:30 pm EST). KOLD reports on its Twitter feed that 11 people were injured and five have died, but Rep. Giffords is alive and in surgery.

Events of Interest

Full calendar of future events (with filters)-click here »


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