As President Obama addressed the nation in Tucson, and honored gravely injured Gabrielle Giffords, nine-year-old Christina Greene and the six other victims of the Tucson massacre, Michelle Obama held the hand of the man who may be saving the Congresswoman as much as her dedicated neurosurgeons.
His name is Mark Kelly, 47, and he is Gabby’s devoted astronaut husband of three years. Ever since she survived emergency surgery after being shot by madman Jared Lee Loughner, Kelly has been a fixture by her side in her hospital room.
The break that he took to sit next to Mrs. Obama, and listen to the President plea for national unity, is his first. Kelly has kept an almost constant vigil at his wife’s bedside, holding her hand, as she lies in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center in Tucson according to the New York Post.
He takes only short breaks to get food, to go to the bathroom or to visit Giffords’ staffer Pam Simon, who was also shot by Loughner. “He has not left the hospital,” (since the memorial speech) said CJ Karamargin, Giffords’ communications director.
There’s good reason to believe that Kelly’s loving and constant presence has played a part in his wife’s miraculous (thus far) recovery from near death. Giffords opened her eyes for the first time yesterday and her doctors have been astonished and pleased with her progress.
“She was able to actually feel her wounds herself … We are very happy,” Dr. Peter Rhee said.
Medical experts believe that the presence of a loved one can make the world of difference in recovery, to someone who has been near death in a coma.
“If you come into the moment and see a loved one, hear a familiar voice, it reminds you of where you need to get back to,” Mary Hibbards, a neuro-rehabilitation psychologist, at NYU Langone Medical Center, told the New York Post.
Isn’t it amazing that the power of love can be stronger than the destructiveness of hate?
Do you think Mark Kelly’s devotion to Congresswoman Giffords is helping to heal her?