First photos of Giffords since attack reveal little about difficult recovery
It’s just a photo. And yet the world’s first true glimpse of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head more than five months ago has roused hope and admiration as well as a raft of questions about how far she has come in her ability to think and communicate, let alone run for office in 2012.
The portrait, taken by a friend of Ms. Giffords on May 17 outside a Houston hospital, was released on her Facebook page Sunday and quickly met with a flood of reaction and wishes well.
Her once golden shoulder-length hair is shorn and dark, covering a misshapen left side of her head through which a bullet lodged and shattered on Jan. 8, compromising the part of her brain that controls communication. Her eyes, though twinkling, are different sizes behind wire framed glasses. Her neck bears a scar from a tracheotomy that once helped her breathe. A second picture of Ms. Giffords smiling with her mother Georgia, also appeared online showing the congresswoman a day before her cranioplasty surgery that would replace part of her skull removed in January to keep her brain from swelling.
“I think people are going to be very happy to see how great she looks,” Arizona state senator and friend Linda Lopez wrote on the site Sunday. “For someone who’s undergone what she’s endured, it’s really something. I feel relieved. She looks beautiful.”
Photo: U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords smiles (R) at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in a May 17, 2011 photo released on her Facebook page June 12, 2011 and another during an appearance in Tucson, Arizona in an undated 2010 handout photo provided by her Congressional campaign on January 8, 2011. (P.K. Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.com/Reuters; Congress/Handout)