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Giffords back in Houston for rehab
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Giffords back in Houston for rehab

  • Gifford in a May photo, released in June by her office.
    P.K. Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.comGifford in a May photo, released in June by her office.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is back in Houston, where she'll continue to undergo outpatient rehabilitation, her office said. Giffords spent two weeks in North Carolina, working with a specialist.

Gifords "returned to Houston this evening," said spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn in a press release.

While in Asheville, N.C., the congreswoman "Giffords spent time with a doctor who has worked with her for the last several months and has been extensively involved in her therapy," Nash-Hahn said.

Earlier Friday, the Associated Press reported that Giffords vowed to return to Congress in her memoir, set to be published Nov. 15.

"I will get stronger. I will return," she wrote in "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope."

But a source close to Giffords disputed the AP's interpretation.

The AP said it purchased an advanced copy of the book, although it won't reveal where it got the book from. The publisher, Scribner, has brushed off TucsonSentinel.com's requests for a review copy.

The Arizona Republic reported that Giffords' language is not so clear-cut:

A source close to Giffords who has read the book and is in possession of a copy said that the final chapter is written in Giffords' voice, and that she speaks hopefully about her future. It does not, however, include an explicit vow to return to Congress that the Associated Press reported.

***

The source interpreted "I will return" to mean Giffords hoped to return to a normal life, not necessarily to Congress.

The book tells of Giffords' arduous recovery after being shot in the head on Jan. 8:

Kelly asked Giffords if she remembered being shot, and she replied that she did. When he asked what she remembered about it, she said three words: "Shot. Shocked. Scary."

Later that day, Kelly was reading to her from a New York Times article about her recovery and skipped over a paragraph that said six others were killed. Giffords had been following along and knew he left something out. She pushed him to tell her what it was.

After she learned of the deaths, Giffords was overcome with emotion and had trouble getting through her therapy. That night as they lay in bed, she told Kelly that she felt awful about the deaths. He held her as she cried.

Giffords has lost 50 percent of her vision in both eyes, AP says the book relates.

While Giffords has not formally announced she is running for reelection, her campaign has continued to raise and spend significant amounts of money.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, are scheduled to appear on a ABC News interview special with Diane Sawyer the night before the book's release.

While the congresswoman appears on camera in a video promo for the program released by the network, it's unclear how much—if any—she speaks during the interview.

"It was not a full-length interview," Giffords' chief of staff, Pia Carusone, told the Arizona Republic.

Giffords, yet to speak in public since the shooting, reads the one-page last chapter of the audiobook of her joint memoir with her husband, the AP said.

Giffords has not given an interview since being shot in the head in what authorities charge was an assassination attempt at a "Congress On Your Corner" constituent meet-and-greet.

While undergoing rehabilitation in Houston after being shot through the brain, Giffords has made only a few public appearances, and traveled little.

Prior to the trip to North Carolina, she returned to Tucson over Labor Day weekend, seeing close friends and family and having dinner with staffers from University Medical Center.

She made two trips to Florida to see her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, command the space shuttle, and also visited Tucson in June.

Her most noteworthy, and public, appearance was to return to Congress on Aug. 1 to cast a vote on the debt ceiling.

She returned to Washington again in early October, for a ceremony marking Kelly's retirement from the Navy.

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