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Giffords Making Miraculous Recovery, Could Attend Husband’s Shuttle Launch

Endeavour (photo: jurvetson)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, just two months from the tragic shooting in Tuscon where she suffered a bullet wound to the head, is doing so well in rehabilitation in Houston, Texas, that she may attend the shuttle launch of her husband, Mark Kelly, on April 19.

Giffords’ doctors, who held a news conference Friday, said that the patient can speak in complete sentences, and is improving tangibly with each passing day. She is able to walk with some assistance. Giffords has no memory of the shooting itself, but doctors described that as normal.

Nobody yet knows how long the rehabilitation process will last. But considering the injury sustained – a full bullet wound through the left side of her head, causing trauma in the left hemisphere of the brain – her doctors are simply transfixed by Giffords’ achievements thus far.

On the political front, House Democrats have planned a fundraiser for Giffords in Washington for next week. If Giffords is able to make a full recovery, there is talk of her making a run for the open US Senate seat vacated by the retiring Jon Kyl in Arizona. Before the shooting, Giffords told confidants that she was planning on running for that position if Kyl retired. Other Democrats interested in the office have hung back in Arizona, waiting to see if Giffords would be well enough to run.

Whether or not she continues her political career, the fact that Giffords is making this much progress is nothing short of remarkable. Some good news like this is sorely needed today.

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David Dayen

David Dayen