Mark Kelly 'extremely hopeful' Giffords will make 'full recovery'


by Catherine Holland

Posted on January 20, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 20 at 9:26 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be moved to a rehabilitation center in Houston tomorrow, just 13 days after being shot in the head at point-blank range.

Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband, talked about Friday's move to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital during a news conference at University Medical Center in Tucson Thursday morning.
(Click here to watch entire news conference.)

"As Gabby moves into the next phase of her recovery, she's going to need to continue to be strong," Kelly said. "She will really appreciate the support of this community. ... This is the place she loves, the people she represents."

Kelly said the team at TIRR Memorial Hermann is among the best at treating penetrating head wounds like the one Giffords suffered. He also said the location, Houston, would allow the family to be together as much as possible.

"It makes the most sense that she is in Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas," he said. "I'm extremely hopeful that Gabby is going to make a full recovery. I've told her that. ... She is a fighter like nobody else I know, so I am extremely confident that she is going to be back here and back at work soon.

"I've been telling the hospital staff that they should expect to see her walking through these halls ... within a couple of months. I'm sure of that. She'll be back."

Giffords was shot during her "Congress on Your Corner" event outside a Tucson Safeway on Jan. 8. Six people were killed. Thirteen others, including Giffords, were wounded.

Since the shooting, Giffords has made steady -- and, by all accounts, remarkable -- progress. The latest milestone is being able to stand up.

The alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, was quickly arrested and is facing a variety of federal charges, including Giffords' attempted assassination. State charges are expected. Loughner is being held without bail in a federal facility.