TUCSON, Ariz. — Less than two weeks after surviving a bullet through the brain, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stood up and looked out the window of her hospital room Wednesday as she prepares to move to Houston to begin intensive mental and physical rehabilitation.
Hospital spokeswoman Janet Stark said Giffords was able to stand on her feet with assistance from medical staff in another significant milestone in her recovery.
The next step is extensive rehabilitation in which she will have to relearn how to think and plan. It's unclear whether she is able to speak or how well she can see. And while she is moving her arms and legs, it's uncertain how much strength she has on her right side.
Giffords' family hopes to move her Friday to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, where her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, lives. The exact day of the move will depend on her health.
The staff at University Medical Center in Tucson "has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase," Kelly said in a statement released by Giffords' congressional office.
Giffords was shot in the head Jan. 8 while meeting with constituents outside a supermarket in Tucson. The gunman shot 18 other people, killing six and wounding 12 more. Jared Loughner, 22, was indicted in the shootings Wednesday.
TIRR Memorial Hermann, a 116-bed rehab facility affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, claims to have the largest research program on recovery from traumatic brain injury in the world.
Judge died a hero: Richard Kastigar, the investigative and operational bureau chief of the Pima County Sheriff's Department, said a brief video clip from a store security camera reveals that Judge John M. Roll appears to have died trying to shield Ronald Barber, one of Giffords' employees, from the gunman, the New York Times reported. Barber, shot twice, has since left the hospital. Roll was fatally shot in the back.