Although Congressman Giffords may not run for officer again, Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords hit another milestone. She is expected to leave the rehabilitation hospital in Houston and go home to continue her therapy on out-patient basis.
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will move out of a Houston rehabilitation facility before the end of the month, a major milestone in her grueling recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, her spokesman said Friday.
The move, coming less than six months after a bullet tore through the left side of the Arizona congresswoman’s brain, will allow her to continue her rehabilitation as an outpatient after undergoing extensive therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center since Jan. 26.
“The hope is for her to begin outpatient treatment in the very near future,” Giffords’ spokesman, C.J. Karamargin, told the Houston Chronicle.
Although Giffords, who still struggles to communicate, is a long way from the eloquent speaker and mountain-biking enthusiast she was before she was shot, she has made substantial progress over the past five months and is nearly ready to transition out of TIRR, Karamargin said.
“This step would not be happening unless doctors determined she was ready for it,” he said. “Her physical strength, her cognitive ability, her verbal skills have all reached the point where this next step is imminent.”
The change will come after more than five months as a full-time patient, initially in hospitals and now at TIRR. The congresswoman has been within close range of nurses since she was shot while meeting with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket Jan. 8. Eighteen others were wounded in the rampage, six fatally.
Although it is not yet clear if she will continue to have nurses available to her around the clock, Giffords’ move from what is essentially a hospital room to a home environment will be a substantial step, Karamargin said.
“This is something that is going to be another tremendous boost to the congresswoman’s recovery,” he said.
Leaving TIRR also will “present a sense of normalcy that should be a boost to the recovery process,” Karamargin said.
“They know how to take care of their patients, there’s no doubt about that, but let’s be honest,” Karamargin said, “who wants to live in a hospital for five months straight?”