SPRINGFIELD (CBS) — The shooting of Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords brought back memories for one Chicago media personality who survived gunshot wounds to the head 30 years ago.
In 1971, Merri Dee was kidnapped along with a television guest. She was shot in the head twice and left for dead, but managed to crawl away and seek help.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: A Few Sprinkles Overnight
“I immediately thought about my family, I thought about my daughter,” Dee told CBS 2 in Springfield Monday. “My daughter was 12 years old.”
She almost died and was left temporarily blind. Dee worked through a difficult recovery and resumed her career the following year at WGN-TV. She became a victims-rights advocate. But she admits the terror of her ordeal has never left completely.READ MORE: Video From Police Shooting That Killed Adam Toledo To Be Released On Thursday, COPA Says
“Cars backfiring, people yelling, doors slamming — I still jump,” Dee said. “It does not go away.”
Giffords, who was shot in the head Saturday during a gunman’s attack that left six of her constituents dead, is responding to basic commands now, and doctors are optimistic about her recovery. The alleged gunman is in custody and made his first court appearance Monday.
Gifford is “fighting back,” Dee said. “She’s thinking about her family (and) how will she be able to serve her people? That’s what I would think.”MORE NEWS: Five Things We Know About The Adam Toledo Police Shooting Case
“If she comes out, she’s going to be ever than she’s ever been,” Dee added. “She does have a long way to go.”