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Giffords back in Tucson for Thanksgiving

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Giffords back in Tucson for Thanksgiving

  • Giffords with her mother, Gloria, in a May photo, released by her office in June.
    P.K. Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.comGiffords with her mother, Gloria, in a May photo, released by her office in June.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is spending Thanksgiving in Tucson with her family, a spokesman said. The congresswoman traveled from Houston to Tucson on Tuesday evening

She will spend the Thanksgiving holiday with her husband, Mark Kelly, her parents and other family members and friends, said her spokesman, Mark Kimble.

This is the third time Giffords has returned to her hometown since she traveled to Houston for rehabilitation after being shot on Jan. 8. She also returned for the Father's Day and Labor Day weekends.

"Over the past 10 months, the congresswoman frequently has expressed her desire to return home and said how much she misses Tucson," Kimble said in a press release. "She talks regularly with friends and visitors from Tucson and maintains a keen interest in events in her hometown."

Giffords' office did not say how long she will stay in Tucson during her trip home.

Last week, reaching for words in her first television interview since she was shot in what authorities charge was an assassination attempt, said she won't return to Congress until she is "better."

"No. Better," she said when ABC's Diane Sawyer asked if she wants to return to her seat in the House.

The 20/20 interview was broadcast Monday night, some 10 months after Giffords was shot through the left side of her brain.

Six were killed and 13 wounded, including Giffords, in the attack on a "Congress On Your Corner" constituent meet-and-greet.

The TV interview came as Giffords' and Kelly's joint memoir, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," hit the shelves  last Tuesday.

Beyond the 20/20 interview and book, the national media hullabaloo over Giffords and Kelly jumped a notch last week with word that he is appearing on the cover of Esquire magazine

Kelly fronts the December cover story on "The Americans of the Year."

The Esquire cover follows a People magazine cover appearance by Giffords and Kelly, with excerpts from the book.

New York Magazine last week featured a lengthy examination of Giffords' recovery, "What Would Gabby Do?," that looked at her options for a political future. It's a piece long on speculation and short on named sources.

Since Jan. 21, Giffords has been undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapy in Houston, where her husband, a recently retired astronaut, has a home.

After being discharged from the TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation hospital, she has continued what her staff says is a "rigorous daily schedule" of outpatient therapy.

Giffords speaks in halting phrases, gesturing when words won't come, even after months of therapy. Even so, her doctors have said her recovery is remarkable, and that she will continue to improve.

She walks with a limp in her right leg, and says using her right arm is "difficult." She has lost 50 percent of her vision.

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

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