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Gabby talks, asks for toast with breakfast

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is able to speak, asking for toast with her breakfast, an aide confirmed Wednesday.

Giffords requested the toast on Monday, said spokesman C.J. Karamargin.

"She's speaking more every day," he said.

This is the first confirmation that Giffords can speak following the Jan. 8 mass shooting.

Karamargin said he's not sure when Giffords began speaking.

"We are all elated, but not surprised," he said of the congresswoman's staff.

"Anyone who knows Gabrielle Giffords knows that she is a fighter, and she's fighting now."

"Having a trach tube makes (talking) a little tricky but she's very determined," said Karamargin.

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"It's an example of how hard she's working."

Tuesday, Giffords' husband said she is showing "encouraging signs" of recovery.

"Gabby’s appetite is back and – even though it’s hospital food – she’s enjoying three meals a day," wrote Capt. Mark Kelly on the congresswoman's Facebook page.

Giffords was trying to speak last month, before she was moved to a Houston rehabilitation facility, Kelly said at the time. A breathing tube didn't allow air to move past her vocal chords, doctors said.

Giffords was shot through the head Jan. 8 in what authorities are calling an assassination attempt. She was shot through the left side of her brain, the side that controls speech functions in most people.

Six were killed in the attack, and 13 others, including Giffords, were wounded. Jared Lee Loughner, 22, has been charged in the mass shooting.

Giffords was transferred last month from University Medical Center to TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston.

"The team at TIRR are amazing," Karamargin said. "She's improving in all areas."

Giffords receives speech, occupational and physical therapy on a daily basis, he said.

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Feb 9, 2011, 3:22 pm
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Excellent News!

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