Giffords Discusses Rocky Road to Recovery

Wounded Congresswoman Opens Up in First TV Interview

By Forward Staff

Published November 15, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.