WSIL Profiles Former Anchor Amy Van Patten to Offer Perspective on Gifford’s Recovery

By Andrew Gauthier 

To offer viewers perspective on what Gabrielle Giffords is going through as she recovers from a gunshot wound to the head, WSIL spoke to former anchor Amy Van Patten, whose career was cut short by a brain aneurysm.

Van Patten was a lead anchor for the Southern Illinois ABC-affiliate in the 90s before suffering a brain aneurysm 13 years ago.

WSIL spoke with Van Patten and she said that she’s “been very interested” in Giffords’ recovery because “there are so many similarities” with what she’s had to go through.


“I had to relearn how to walk and talk,” Van Patten told WSIL. “I was so focussed on getting better.”

Van Patten says that the most memorable part of the entire ordeal was the outpouring of support she received from the Southern Illinois community.  She’s now living in Florida but the support is still palpable.

“I’ve been gone from [Illinois] for about a year and people still remember me,” she said. “That really meant a lot to me–I still have all of their cards.” (video here)