HOUSTON — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned home to her astronaut husband on Wednesday, leaving a Houston hospital where she began to rebuild her life after a gunman shot her in the head five months ago.
Giffords' release marks a new phase in her recovery. She struggles to speak and walk, and will need daily, intensive therapy. Whether she will ever recover enough to resume her congressional duties is unknown.
But doctors at TIRR Memorial Hermann, her husband, Mark Kelly, and experts who have been observing Giffords' recovery emphasize that going home is a key milestone and could help stimulate her progress.
The congresswoman will move to Kelly's home in League City, a suburb near the Johnson Space Center, where she will have 24-hour help from a home care assistant.