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Giffords’ Fellow Lawmaker And Friend Shares Eye-Opening Experience

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LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) – For many, the only image that existed of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after the shooting in Tucson on Saturday was of her on a stretcher.

However, the events that unfolded Wednesday night presented a more hopeful picture of Giffords.

“It was like a miracle was unfolding in front of me,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D – Fla.).

The Florida congresswoman flew down to Arizona with President Obama Wednesday night to be by Giffords’ side, and described what it was like to see her friend open her eyes for the first time.

“I said to her, ‘Come on Gabby. You’ve got to get better as soon as you can because we expect to see you in New Hampshire this summer,’” said Schultz.

Congresswoman Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, was also by her bedside and continued the encouragement. After about five attempts, Giffords started to respond. Mr. Kelly asked his wife if she could see him, she should do a ‘thumbs up’ and moments later she did, Schultz said.

“She touched his ring, she touched his arm. She was able to get her arm on his neck,” said Schultz.

Along with Schultz, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.) was also in the room and they believe the power of girlfriends was at work.

“Whatever part we played in helping her make progress, it just fills my heart,” said Schultz.

Watch the video…

Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3