Gabrielle Giffords “is not close to returning to congress” at this time; Update: First photos of Giffords released since shooting

Posted on June 10, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...

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Gabrielle Giffords’ chief of staff has revealed more details about the representative’s condition at this point in her recovery.  No decision has been made on whether Giffords will run for re-election yet because the final deadline isn’t until May of next year.  But if she was to stay in her present condition, the odds of taking another run for her congressional seat seems pretty improbable:

But in an interview with the Arizona Republic, Giffords chief of staff Pia Carusone spells out her boss’s current condition more specifically.

Starting with the fact Giffords is not close to returning to congress.

She speaks mostly with single words, using facial expressions and gestures to communicate because she struggles to put together sentences.

The only timetable for returning to office is May 2012, because that’s when petitions are due for re-election.

The reason its hard to make a prediction of Giffords’ potential progress is how complicated brain injuries ares. And carusone says with bullet fragments remaining in Giffords’ head, doctors will never be able to perform an MRI.

Carusone says they are all hoping Giffords will improve significantly before she plateaus.

“She’s living. She’s alive.  But if she were to plateau today, and this was as far as she gets, it would not be nearly the quality of life she had before.  There’s no comparison.  All that we can hope for is she won’t plateau today and that she’ll keep going and that when she does plateau, it will be at a place far away from here,” said Carusone.

Whether we agree with her politics or not, let’s continue to keep Gabrielle Giffords in our prayers for a continued and successful recovery.


The first photos of Representative Giffords were released today since the time of the shooting.