Gabrielle Giffords: Hopeful Recovery After Surgery

January 12, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Gabrielle Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, holds his wife's hand in the congresswoman's hospital room at University Medical Center Jan. 9, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. (U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office via Getty Images)
Gabrielle Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, holds his wife's hand in the congresswoman's hospital room at University Medical Center Jan. 9, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. (U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office via Getty Images)
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition but continues to show signs of recovery after she was shot in the head on Saturday at an event in Tuscon, Ariz.

Giffords is able to breath on her own and move spontaneously, doctors told the Los Angeles Times. The increase in her awareness is partially due to less sedative medication.

“She was able to actually even feel her wounds herself. She can fix her gown. She’s making very specific kinds of movements, so we’re very happy at this point,” Dr. Peter Rhee, chief of the trauma division at University Medical Center in Tucson told the newspaper.

But he says there will be some “permanent damage from the bullet," according to a Wall Street Journal report. "Will she be functional, viable, normal? I can't say for sure, but I'm very hopeful she will be."

President Barack Obama and his wife paid Giffords a private visit and then met with family members of the shooting victims prior to speaking at a memorial service in Tucson.

Giffords was hit by a bullet to the head in Saturday’s shooting rampage at Tucson supermarket. The shooting killed six people and wounded at least 13, herself included.

Jared Loughner, 22, is currently in custody and is facing five charges including two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress.