Giffords Discusses Rocky Road to Recovery

Wounded Congresswoman Opens Up in First TV Interview

By Forward Staff

Published November 15, 2011.
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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, speaking haltingly in her first interview since she was critically wounded by a gunman’s bullet, said her political future was contingent on getting “better.”

The Arizona Democrat’s road to recovery was the focus of a television special, which aired Sunday night on ABC. It featured excerpts from hours of video taken as the Giffords struggled to relearn how to walk, talk, and ask questions in the weeks and months following the January 8 shooting.

Six people died, and Giffords was among 13 injured when Jared Loughner opened fire at a Tucson meet-and-greet that the congresswoman was hosting. Giffords told Diane Sawyer that she remembers nothing of that tragic day.

Sitting alongside her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords appeared to comprehend all of the questions Sawyer posed. But as a result of the nearly fatal brain injury she suffered, she had difficulty formulating responses — searching for words, and speaking in short fragments.

The interview coincided with the release of a “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope,” a memoir that Giffords and Kelly wrote with veteran journalist Jeffrey Zaslow.

Despite everything, Giffords, who in 2007 became Arizona’s firs Jewish congresswoman, remains relentlessly optimistic. She told Sawyer that she is not angry about all she has had to endure. “Life, life,” Giffords said.


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