Giffords to Leave Arizona Hospital Friday

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is expected to leave the hospital Friday to continue her recovery at a rehabilitation center in Houston, her office announced today.

Giffords is scheduled to be transported from the University Medical Center in Tucson to the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, according to a release from the congresswoman's office.


"The congresswoman's family wants to ensure she receives the best rehabilitative care possible for her type of serious penetrating brain injury," said Dr. Michael Lemole, one of the attending neurosurgeon at University Medical Center at the University of Arizona. The statement said that doctors and family members considered rehabilitation facilities in Washington, Chicago,  New York and Houston before deciding on TIRR Memorial, which is part of the Texas Medical Center. TIRR Memorial is one of the premier institutions for treatment of the kind of brain injury that Giffords sustained when she was shot on a Tucson street corner 11 days ago, the press release said.

"I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting," said Mark Kelly, the congresswoman's husband. "The team of doctors and nurses at UMC has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase. Their goal - and our goal - has been to provide Gabby with the best care possible. It is for that reason that we have chosen to have her undergo rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann, which has a national reputation for treating serious penetrating brain injuries and is also in a community where I have family and a strong support network."

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Bill House is a staff writer (Congress) for National Journal.

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