Gabrielle Giffords Gives Thumbs-Up to Survival

January 11, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Gabrielle Giffords surviving: Dr. Michael Lemole, chief neurosurgeon at University Medical Center, speaks on Jan. 10, 2011 in Tuscon, Arizona. At right is trauma director Dr. Peter Rhee. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Gabrielle Giffords surviving: Dr. Michael Lemole, chief neurosurgeon at University Medical Center, speaks on Jan. 10, 2011 in Tuscon, Arizona. At right is trauma director Dr. Peter Rhee. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is now able to respond to simple commands by giving a thumbs-up sign, squeezing a thumb, and raising two fingers, her doctor said on Monday, according to AOL News.

Giffords, 40, was shot in the head on Saturday morning, allegedly by 22-year-old Jared Loughner, on an assassination attempt at a Safeway store in a suburb of Tucson, Ariz.

Doctors said CT scans showed the Arizona congresswoman was no longer showing signs of brain swelling.

"At this phase in the game, no change is good. And we have no change," Dr. G. Michael Lemole, her neurosurgeon at University Medical Center, said at a news conference as quoted by AOL. "We're not out of the woods yet, … but every day that goes by and we don't see an increase [in swelling], we're slightly more optimistic."

Giffords underwent surgery to temporarily remove half her skull. Over the past two days, doctors took Giffords out of sedation and asked her to respond to basic commands such as “Show me two fingers,” according to The Associated Press.

Giffords’s family is accompanying her and is constantly receiving updates from doctors. Two well-known doctors experienced in dealing with traumatic brain injury were on they way to Tucson for Giffords’s case, the AP reported.