Gabrielle Giffords: Amazing photos of shot congresswoman after cranioplasty surgery


Most recent photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot was released Sunday. She's shown with her mother, Gloria Giffords.

US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has released the first pictures of herself since she was shot in the head in January. Most recent photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot was released Sunday. She’s shown with her mother, Gloria Giffords.  Two pictures appeared on her Facebook page. The first photos of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head in a mass shooting in Tucson about five months ago were released early Sunday. Her staff provided two photographs to The Arizona Republic and also planned to share the images with theArizona Daily Starand on Giffords’ Facebook page. According to her staff, the decision to share them was made by Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, who hope the photos will help Giffords avoid the glare of camera lenses when she begins outpatient therapy later this month.

The goal was to satisfy “public curiosity about her appearance,” said C.J. Karamargin, Giffords’ communications director. “We want to avoid a paparazzi situation.”

The photographs were taken on May 17 in the hours before Giffords’ cranioplasty surgery by P.K. Weis of SouthwestPhotoBank.com, who photographed Giffords in the garden of the Houston rehab hospital where she is recovering. Weis, the former photo editor of the Tucson Citizen, is also Giffords’ friend and said the photos were not altered.

The images depict Giffords alone and with her mother, Gloria Giffords. Her face shows almost no visible vestige of the bullet, which pierced her forehead, traveled through the left side of her brain, and exited her head. Her left eye appears slightly smaller than her right eye, likely because a piece of Giffords’ skull was still missing when this photo was taken, her staff explained. The cranioplasty has since repaired her skull. In the photo, her brown hair has grown since it was shaved by Tucson doctors, and it covers surgical scars on her scalp. There is a scar at her throat left by a tracheotomy. Around her neck, she wears her husband’s wedding ring on a chain

Ms Giffords, 41, was seriously injured during a shooting spree by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and wounded 13 others. She is being treated at a clinic in Houston, Texas. Doctors say she has been recovering well.

In an interview with The Arizona Republic published on Thursday, Ms Giffords’ Chief of Staff Pia Carusone said she still had only limited speaking ability. But Ms Carusone told the Associated Press news agency on Saturday that she could be released from the rehabilitation clinic in the coming weeks.

In one of the pictures released on Sunday, Ms Giffords is smiling at the camera. In the other, she is sitting with a woman. Both photographs were taken on 17 May, the accompanying text says.  Many well-wishers left messages on the page, including: “Gabby, you look wonderful! Keep up the fight to get well.” The shooting happened on 8 January near Tucson, Arizona, outside a supermarket where Ms Giffords was meeting constituents.

Since then, the only time the public has been able to get a glimpse of her was in April, when footage showed her from a distance boarding a plane to watch her husband, space shuttle astronaut Mark Kelly, launch into space in Florida. A suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, has been arrested and accused of carrying out the shooting. He has pleaded not guilty.

source : usatoday.com, BBC, photo by P.K. Weis, AP

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