- Associated Press - Thursday, January 20, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. | Doctors prepared Gabrielle Giffords and her family on Thursday to leave behind the Arizona hospital where she dazzled them with her rapid recovery so she can get on with an even more arduous task: getting life back to normal.

Her husband said he’s hoping she’ll make a full recovery and called her “a fighter like nobody else that I know.”

The doctors who will help her at a Houston rehabilitation center starting Friday offered a more sober outlook.

“Not everyone always gets 100 percent restoration, but we help them to get to a new normal,” said Carl Josehart, chief executive of the 119-bed TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital, which will be the Arizona congresswoman’s home for the next month or two.

Ms. Giffords is recovering from a bullet wound to the brain.

In her most recent medical update at University Medical Center in Tucson, doctors said she has scrolled through an iPad, picked out different colored objects and moved her lips. They are unsure whether she is mouthing words, and they do not know how much she is able to see.

Her husband, Houston-based astronaut Mark Kelly, said he thinks she has made attempts to speak and can recognize those around her. “I can just look in her eyes and tell,” Mr. Kelly said at a final briefing at the Tucson hospital.

“In two months, you’ll see her walking through the front door of this building” to thank everyone who took care of her, he said.

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