Just five months after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in Tucson, Arizona, she has been released from hospital to recover in Mark Kelly’s suburban Houston, Texas home.
Giffords was released from Houston’s TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital however the facility says she still has a long and arduous road to recovery before her. Just six months ago Giffords was shot through the head and although she now struggles to speak and walk moving home is a key milestone in her recovery.
She will continue her intensive therapy for months, possibly years. In a statement released by her medical facility Captain Mark Kelly, her astronaut husband, said “Anyone who knows Gabby knows that she loves being outside…Living and working in a rehab facility for five months straight has been especially challenging for her."
The Congresswoman will visit the hospital each day and work with her team on speech, music, physical and occupational therapy. Thankfully, said Kelly, at the end of everyday “she will be with her family”. She will also have 24-hour help at home from a care assistant.
Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory at the Kessler Foundation Research Center in West Orange, N.J, said that being around family motivates patients however he admitted that she has a lifetime of healing and recovery ahead of her.
Grafman said “Often, you can do many things for yourself but not everything, that's not unusual after a severe traumatic brain injury…It's not unusual to be released before complete independence and you may never achieve complete independence"
News that Giffords was going home was met with great excitement, according to Associated Press reports.
A staffer from Giffords office who was also injured in the shooting, Ron Barber, said “When I went home from the hospital after surgery, I was so nervous, but boy it's wonderful to be home in your own surroundings, to be able to have things on your own schedule…I'm sure it'll be uplifting and healing for her, too.”
On January 8 Giffords was shot through the left side of the brain. This is the part of the brain which controls speech and communication. Six people were killed on that day in Tucson and another 13 wounded, including members of her staff.