There are a lot of things about Houston that those of us who live in the city or its outskirts love to complain about. It is a huge, sprawling place and sometimes it seems almost impossible to get there from here. The streets always seem to be full of potholes and always under construction. The traffic jams can be monumental. The pollution is awful, although some small progress has been made in that area in recent years. The politics are often reactionary and divorced from reality. In many areas of life, the good ole boy network is still intact and that pretty much excludes the good ole girls. And then, of course, there is the weather which is hot and humid and pretty unbearable at least six months out of the year. Sometimes eight. But there is one thing here that you won't hear me complaining about - the medical care.
The quality of medical care that is available here is state of the art. If you or a loved one is sick or hurt, there are few better places in the world that you could find yourself than the medical facilities of Houston. Thus, I would think that it should be very comforting to the family and friends of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and to all who have followed her story for the last two weeks and hoped for her recovery to know that she landed today in Houston. She will be here at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research to continue her recovery and rehabilitation from the devastating wound she received in Tucson when an angry man with a gun tried to kill her. Not only is she is in the very best of hands, medically, but her presence here will certainly make things at least a little easier for her astronaut husband who lives here and trains for shuttle flights at the Johnson Space Center.
So, now Houston has a new - not problem - challenge, and, truly, failure is not an option. This very high profile patient must have her privacy protected and must be given every assistance to aid her recovery. All the doctors and other personnel who have treated her up until now have raved about her progress, but at some point, that progress is almost sure to slow and her road to recovery could be long and difficult.
Will she be able to make a full recovery? With the courage and determination she has shown so far and with the dedicated team at TIRR at her side, I wouldn't bet against her.