According to Dr. Michael Lemole, the chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has started breathing on her own this morning.

She has given a thumbs-up sign and tried to grab at the breathing tube, an encouraging sign of the level of consciousness and her reaction to pain."The fact that she's able to register that discomfort and then react to it, again, it means the brain is working on a higher level," Lemole said.

Though they're not one hundred percent sure of what to expect of her recovery just yet, this seems to me like a step in the right direction!  She is still expected to stay in the Intensive Care Unit for another week or so.