LOS ANGELES — US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who was almost killed in a horrific shooting in January, will eventually return to Congress, a senior Democrat who saw her last week said Thursday.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the newly-elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Giffords — shot in the head at point blank range — had made “tremendous progress” in the fourth months since the Arizona attack.
“I do think she’s gonna come back to Congress,” she told Good Morning America on ABC television. “I mean the progress that she’s making, I think that from what I understand, she’s on track for that to happen,” she added.
“I had dinner with her in Houston last Friday and she’s beginning to walk now, really doesn’t use the wheelchair,” she added, saying Giffords “is responding in more complex sentences.”
While declining to predict when Giffords could return to Congress, Wasserman-Schultz added: “She’s making tremendous progress and we’re all really proud of her.”
Giffords has been undergoing rehabilitation to regain movement on the right side of her body after a bullet tore through the left side of her brain in a shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona on January 8.
Six people were killed, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, when a gunman opened fire at a political meeting Giffords was holding with constituents outside a grocery store.
Last month Giffords flew to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, command the space shuttle Endeavour on its final journey to the International Space Station.
But she returned to her Texas rehabilitation center after the launch was scrubbed a few hours before liftoff due to technical problems.
A new launch attempt is scheduled for next Monday. On Thursday its crew, including five Americans and an Italian, arrived back at Kennedy Space Center to prepare for the new liftoff bid.
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