Monday, April 25, 2011

Gabby Giffords Gets OK To View Space Launch in Florida

Houston, Gabby Giffords is going to Florida for her astronaut husband's space launch.

Late last week, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was given the ok to travel to watch her husband's space launch in Florida. Astronaut Mark Kelly made the announcement that his wife would indeed be allowed to view his launch in person.

Gabrielle Giffords has been in Houston since Jan. 21 — that's 94 days of living and rehabilitating at the world-renowned TIRR Memorial-Hermann in relative mystery.

Giffords has trouble talking in long sentences, but her staff and Kelly say that she understands everything. The frustration comes in trying to string together the words to say what she means. One of the effects of the shooting is that Giffords, who was always right handed, now writes left handed — a not uncommon result after a bullet wound to the left side of the brain, which controls right-side function.

Dr. Gerard Francisco, chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann, tells the Arizona Republic that Giffords can now stand and walk on her own a little. Use of her right arm and leg are still limited though, another common result from a left-side brain injury.

Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is said to be in the top 5% of those who recover from her type of brain injury. Her survival of the horrendous attack by a mad man in January is truly a modern day miracle. Now, however, there are those on the seedy side of photojournalism who are chomping at the bit to claim a $200,000 bounty on the first photo of the congresswoman upon her first venture out of the Houston hospital where she has been rehabilitating.

Team Giffords is trying mightily to allow Giffords to make the decision of who will take the first photo of her for public viewing. She is still said to have noticeable scarring, which is completely understandable given the severity of her injuries.

There are those that aren't willing to wait for Giffords' schedule though. One of the most striking things in the story is Carusone talking about rumors of a $200,000 "reward" bounty for any paparazzi that is able to snap the first photo of Giffords. The paper notes that Giffords has been "invisible" since the Jan. 8 shooting and details the security precautions at TIRR.

Kelly announced in February that he would continue on with his scheduled space flight as the commander of Endeavour.

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