Giffords Takes First Trip Outdoors

Congresswoman gets first fresh air, sunlight since shooting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2011 3:22 AM CST
Giffords Takes First Trip Outdoors
Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, stands with his wife as she looks at the Santa Catalina Mountains from an outdoor deck at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)

Gabrielle Giffords was taken outside yesterday for her first fresh air and sunshine since she was shot in the head almost two weeks ago. Giffords—who can now stand, with assistance, and has attempted to speak—was taken on a brief stroll in a wheelchair to the Tucson University Medical Center's helipad, a center spokeswoman tells Reuters.

"It was a chance to see the mountains one more time before she leaves to go Houston tomorrow," the spokeswoman added. Doctors say daylight is important to help move Giffords—who will be transferred to a rehabilitation center today—back to a normal sleep pattern. Her husband, astronaut and shuttle commander Mark Kelly, says he is confident she will make a full recovery. "I've told her that," he said. "She'll be walking and talking in two months. You'll see her walking through the front door of this building." (Read more Tucson, Arizona stories.)

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