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Giffords travel plans released, gets view of Catalinas

The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has released the route she will take to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Friday morning.

Giffords will be discharged from University Medical Center and be transferred to a rehab facility at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston.

"Members of the public are encouraged to come wish her well as she departs Tucson as long as they remain off the roadway," the Tucson Police Department said in a press release.

Giffords is expected to leave UMC at about 9:15 a.m.

The route to the base:

Cherry Avenue to Helen Street, east on Helen Street to Campbell Avenue, south on Campbell Avenue and Kino Boulevard to Aviation Parkway, southeast on Aviation Parkway to Golf Links Road, and east on Golf Links Road to the base's Swan Road gate.

Giffords will fly in a private plane for the 2 hour, 15-minute flight, said her spokesman, C.J. Karamargin.

Giffords will be accompanied by her husband, Mark Kelly; UMC trauma surgeon Dr. Peter Rhee; Tracy Culbert, an ICU nurse from UMC; her mother, Gloria Giffords; chief of staff Pia Carusone; and Karamargin.

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She will be taken from Houston's William P. Hobby Airport to TIRR Memorial Hermann via helicopter.

Giffords' office said Thursday afternoon that a group of VFW motorcycle riders had volunteered to escort the congresswoman to Davis-Monthan, but TPD said that only police will be in the escort.

Giffords was taken outside Thursday, where she had a view of the Santa Catalina Mountains from a balcony at the hospital.

Exposure to sunlight is important to re-establishing a diurnal cycle of day and night after being in a hospital room for an extended period, doctors said at a medical briefing Thursday morning.

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2 comments on this story

Jan 21, 2011, 9:07 am
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We will take good care of Representative Giffords here in Tejas, but know we will be sending her back to Tucson and AZ ASAP!

Jan 20, 2011, 7:48 pm
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The Catalinas always say “home” to me…that’s the view I want when I have to leave home for a while…and am so glad to see when I return…

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Click image to enlarge

courtesy Giffords' office

Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords (not seen, in the hospital bed) get some sunshine and a view of the Catalinas on Thursday.