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MSNBC: Giffords making more progress, singing ‘American Pie’

'Gabby likes to reach out and hold my hand and she listens carefully and smiles easily,' rabbi who visits regularly tells Houston TV station

March 3, 2011- Gabrielle Giffords has been singing "American Pie," eating chicken soup and "is making the kind of progress that all of us would anticipate" after being shot in the head in January, according to a rabbi who has been visiting the congresswoman regularly.

Rabbi David Lyon, of Congregation Beth Israel in southwest Houston, has been visiting Giffords about three times a week as she recovers in the TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital, Houston TV station KHOU, a CBS affiliate, reported.

He told the station she had recently sung "American Pie" with her longtime friend Rabbi Stephanie Aaron.

Lyon added that Giffords had a healthy appetite.

"Well, she had a little chicken soup with matzo balls. I think that's fair to report, and as we all know it is Jewish penicillin," he told KHOU.

"Gabby is making the kind of progress that all of us would anticipate, whether it’s words or emotions," he added.

He also said Giffords sometimes wore an orange wristband that he gave to her with a phrase in Hebrew, meaning "this too shall pass." 

"And it means not only will all of this pass, but there are joyful moments that pass into less joyful moments, but even those less joyful moments will pass into more joyful times in the future," he told KHOU.

'Sweet, spirited person'
"Gabby likes to reach out and hold my hand and she listens carefully and smiles easily. Prayer for her is meaningful," he added.

Lyon said Gabby was "a sweet, spirited person who doesn't give up and truly wants to make a difference. Currently, it's to make a difference in her own life, but ultimately to continue making a difference in the lives of others in which she was elected to serve."

He added Giffords was kept busy by her program of rehabilitation and added that he hoped she would be able to give her own updates on her condition.



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