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Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Smiling and cheerful, fussing with her interviewer’s hair and nestled in the arms of her husband, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords displayed remarkable progress from the shocking images of her the day after she was shot in the forehead outside a Tucson supermarket.
But she still struggled to form complete sentences and said, with her husband’s help, that she wouldn’t return to Congress until she was “better.”
Giffords, 41, appeared Monday on ABC in her first public interview since being shot on Jan. 8 while meeting with constituents. The interview showed a woman who appeared confident and determined, but still far from able to carry on a detailed conversation. When it came to her political future, Diane Sawyer tried to get Giffords to summarize her current mindset, asking the Arizona Democrat whether she was thinking she would return to Congress if she got better.
“And that’s where you’re at right now? Sawyer asked.
“Yes, yes, yes,” Giffords replied.
She spoke in a clear voice, but in halting phrases: “Pretty good … Difficult … Strong, strong, strong,” she replied to questions about how she was feeling and how she’d fared over the 10 months since the shooting.
She described her emotions as she learned that six people died in the shootings and that 12 others were wounded.
“I cried,” she said. “… A lot of people died.”
The Giffords interview was accompanied by video her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, shot documenting Giffords‘ recovery. The initial days and weeks showed her struggling to understand what had happened and to communicate in the most basic forms. She struggled just to learn how to nod, to raise two fingers. When her therapist asked what one sits in, she replied “Spoon,” before later settling on “chair.”
Eventually, she learned to speak again and smile.
Kelly said he documented her recovery because he knew she would astonish her skeptics.
He also said that he would not run if she’s unable to do so, saying “it’s my job to make sure she can get better so she can go back to her career serving her constituents in southern Arizona.”
Kelly said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that his wife at this point is working on “just stringing her sentences together” and said viewers of the couple’s interview on the network Monday night “didn’t see that so much” but said that “it’s going to happen.”
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