Two photos of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona were released by her office on Facebook. The photos are reported to have been taken on May 17 outside her Houston hospital. She can be seen smiling with a short hair cut.
The photos are the first clear pictures of Giffords since the shooting five months ago during a meet-and-greet in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson. The incident happened on January 8 when lone shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire in the parking lot killing 8 people and injuring 16. Loughner is being held at a Missouri facility and was declared incompetent to stand trial, but prosecutors hope his competency can be restored so he can answer for the charges.
Check out Giffords’ picture from before the shooting –
In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Giffords’s chief-of-staff, Pia Carusone, said Giffords’s limited speaking ability meant she relied primarily on facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate.
“She is borrowing upon other ways of communicating. Her words are back more and more now, but she’s still using facial expressions as a way to express. Pointing. Gesturing,” Carusone said. “Add it all together and she is able to express the basics of what she wants or needs. But, when it comes to a bigger and more complex thought that requires words, that’s where she has had the trouble.”
Carusone also said that if Giffords’s recovery were to plateau now, “it would not be nearly the quality of life she had before”.
“All that we can hope for is that she won’t plateau today and that she will keep going and that when she does plateau, it will be at a place far away from here,” she said.
It is nice to see Giffords’ smiling pictures.