With a nation rallying behind her, Gabrielle Giffords is recovering at a rapid, awe-inducing pace from the tragic events of last weekend.
The Congresswoman is already sitting up and communicating with her hands, facts that have stunned doctors at Tucson's University Medical Center.
"She is able to move both of her legs on command," says neurosurgeon Michael Lemole. "That's huge. We say, 'Gabrielle, lift your legs up,' and she lifts both of them up."
As detailed Tuesday night by President Barack Obama, Giffords opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting soon after he paid her a hospital visit.
"That implies that the part of the brain that lets us awake from sleeping, the arousal center, is functioning," says Lemole. "Miracles happen every day. A lot of medicine is outside of our control, so we're wise to acknowledge miracles."
The surgeon concluded that the goal is to get Giffords sitting in a chair by the end of this weekend.