NEW YORK -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounded in a shooting attack just over a week ago, continues to be in critical care, but is making progress after a bullet went into her skull, through her brain and back out of her skull.
On Saturday, doctors at the University Medical Center in Tucson removed Giffords' breathing tube and replaced it with a tracheotomy tube, as well as a feeding tube “to provide nutritional support.”
In a statement, doctors said Giffords can breathe on her own but the breathing tube was being used as a precaution. With it removed, doctors said they can now evaluate her ability to speak. The hospital said that such procedures are "not uncommon" among intensive care patients suffering serious brain injuries.