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article imageGiffords scheduled to be moved to Houston to begin rehabilitation

By Adeline Yuboco     Jan 20, 2011 in World
Tucson - House Representative Gabrielle Giffords is set to be moved to a hospital in Houston, TX to undergo an intensive mental and physical rehabilitation program.
According to Katie Maass, spokeswoman for the University Medical Center in Tucson, the congresswoman has shown significant progress in her recovery after being shot in the head at point-blank range last January 8.
Since she was taken off from sedation, Giffords has been able to start physical therapy at UMC. She has been reported to now be able to dangle her legs over her bedside to exercise her muscles, and sit on a chair. On Wednesday, she was able to leave her bedside and stand by the window of her room with the help of the hospital's medical personnel.
Doctors, however, are unable to say if she is able to speak. They also are not sure on how well and far off she can see as well as how much strength does she have on her right side.
Mark Kelly, Gifford's husband, told reporters that she will be moved to the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, which is reputed to be one of the top rehabilitation centers in the United States that specializes in brain and spinal cord injuries.
"I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting," he said in a statement that was released by the congressional office of his wife. "Our goal [is] to provide Gabby with the best possible care possible."
Friends of Giffords and her family expressed their happiness upon hearing the news of the transfer.
“It’s good news for all of us and for all the people who have been praying for wisdom and strength for the surgeons and others who have been helping her,’’ said Stephanie Aaron, Giffords’s rabbi at Congregation Chaverim in Tucson. “It’s nothing short of a miracle, but it’s also Gabby’s will to fight. It’s her strength of spirit.’’
On the same day, a three-count indictment against Jared L. Loughner was handed over by a Federal Grand Jury. Loughner will be arraigned on Monday at the Federal District Court in Phoenix, AZ, where he will enter a plea to the charges.
Meanwhile, the Pima County Sheriff's Department released a statement that it will no longer provide the public of additional information in reference to the shooting after prosecutors complained about the releasing of information about Loughner and other details of the investigation immediately after the shooting incident.
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