12:36pm

Thu January 20, 2011
The Two-Way

Giffords' Husband: 'She'll Be Back'

Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) just spoke with reporters in Tucson about how his wife is doing as she recovers from the severe head injury she received when she was shot Jan. 8 by a gunman who attacked an event she was holding for constituents. Nineteen people were shot. Six of them died.

We'll post the complete audio of Kelly's remarks below. A few highlights:

— "I'm extremely hopeful that Gabby's going to make a full recovery."

— "I'm extremely confident that she's going to be back here [Giffords is headed to a rehabilitation center in Houston tomorrow] and back at work soon."

— "She'll be back."

— "I feel she's made some attempts" to speak. To ease her breathing, doctors earlier this week performed a tracheotomy. Because of that, Giffords can't get air past her vocal cords — but she could try to mouth words.

— "She's well aware of who's around her. ... Very aware of the situation."

Also at University Medical Center in Tucson, Dr. G. Michael Lemole, section chief of neurosurgery, said Giffords has been "scrolling through an iPad." Dr. Peter Rhee, the hospital's trauma chief, said Giffords has been able to identify colors when asked to do so.

"Still, I caution everyone," Lemole added, the 40-year-old congresswoman has "months" of recovery ahead. He would not, however, comment on how complete her recovery will be. It's too soon to say. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.