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CNN: Giffords makes public appearance with husband


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(CNN) -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made a public appearance Monday evening in Houston with her astronaut husband at a NASA function, a spokesman said.

The Arizona congresswoman appeared alongside Mark Kelly, who received a Spaceflight Medal during an awards ceremony at Space Center Houston.

"Personally, I was not surprised at all," Giffords' spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. "For us it is clear the congresswoman's physical strength is improving as well as her cognitive and verbal abilities."

Released from the hospital June 15, Giffords continues to recover from a January gunshot wound to the head. Six people were killed and 13 others were wounded, including Giffords, when a gunman opened fire in front of a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8.


Giffords made her first visit back to her hometown of Tucson earlier this month after spending six months undergoing intense rehabilitation at a center in Houston.

"When she came to Tucson she was in great spirits and has improved tremendously," Karamargin said. "She got together with staff (while in Tucson) and climbed a flight of 18 stairs at the home of a member of staff."

Giffords' road to recovery has been marked by a number of public milestones, including a trip to see the space shuttle launch that carried her husband on a 16-day mission in May and the recent release of new photos showing a smiling, relaxed Giffords.

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