Giffords’ Friend: Dem Rep Is In An ‘Induced Coma’

Douglas Graham

A family friend of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords told ABC’s This Week that the congresswoman is in an “induced coma” after being shot in the head in yesterday’s mass shooting in Arizona.Tillman Fertitta, told Christiane Amanpour that Giffords will be in the coma for the next few days. “They got to determine that the brain continues to operate well,” she said.

There have been conflicting reports about Giffords’ condition, with a number of local and national media outlets reporting last night that she was awake and recognized her husband. Later, a hospital spokesman said this was false, and that as of 6:20 a.m. she was sedated and in critical condition.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Across the Nation, Vigils Held for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords]

Dr. Peter Rhee of the University of Arizona Medical Centersaid yesterday that he was “very optimistic” about her chances for recovery. “I’m about as optimistic as you can get in this situation.”

The hospital is holding a press conference at noon.