Giffords released from Houston hospital

HOUSTON (RNN) - Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been discharged from a Houston hospital more than five months after being shot in the head while meeting with constituents.

"We are very excited that she has reached the next phase of her rehabilitation and can begin outpatient treatment," said Dr. Gerard Francisco, chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Herman, where Giffords has been undergoing rehabilitation therapy. "We have no doubt that she will continue to make significant strides in her recovery."

Giffords' intensive therapy program will continue on unchanged and with the same medical team, which includes Francisco. But now doctors expect she will be able to leave the hospital every afternoon, as her cognitive abilities and psychical strength have improved.

When Giffords leaves TIRR, she will move into the home of her astronaut husband, Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, where she will receive 24-hour care.

Kelly said the break will be a relief for Giffords, who loves the outdoors.

"Living and working in a rehab facility for five months straight has been especially challenging for her," said Kelly, who lives in nearby League City, TX.  "She will still go to TIRR each day but from now on, when she finishes rehab, she will be with her family."

Giffords is one of 19 people who were shot at a "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson, AZ, on Jan. 8. Six died in the mass shooting.

The congresswoman was shot through-and-through in the head and spent more than two weeks in critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson before being moved to Houston.

Kelly said his wife has given her all since being transferred to TIRR on Jan. 26.

"The remarkable progress she has made since then is a testament to both her single-minded determination to get better and the team of medical professionals overseeing her care," the astronaut said.

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