The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who has been undergoing medical treatment since she was shot in the head at a district event this past January, has now released onto Facebook the first official photos of the Congresswoman since the incident.
The photos were taken on May 17, the day after the launch of the space Shuttle Endeavour commanded by her husband Mark Kelly, and the day before she underwent a cranioplasty surgery to replace part of her skull with a plastic implant. One of the photos is a solo picture of Giffords, facing the camera and smiling. The other shows the Congresswoman accompanied by her mother, Gloria Giffords, and both smiling.
The photos were accompanied by a statement from the photographer, Arizona photojournalist and Giffords friend P.K. Weis:
“Any photographer in the country would have loved the opportunity to take these pictures and I was delighted to be asked. I’ve known Gabby for more than a decade and her staff asked me to do it because she wanted someone who was not a stranger – someone she would be comfortable around. The photos were taken in her room and in an outside area of the hospital.
“In addition to the congresswoman, her mother, one of her staff members and a close friend were there. Doctors and nurses also came in and out.”
It was very inspiring to see how much she had recovered in 4Â½ months. I was excited to see her and to see her smile. She was glad to see me, was in a good mood, smiling and laughing and seemed to enjoy the experience. I certainly did, too.”