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Giffords to return to Tucson for brief visit

June 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will return to her hometown of Tucson, Ariz., this weekend for a brief visit with her family, a spokesman said on Friday.

Spokesman C.J. Karamargin said in a statement that the congresswoman would make no public appearances and would grant no interviews during her visit.

"We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," said her husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly, in a statement. "Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery."

The trip will be Gifford's first to Arizona since January. She was released from a Houston hospital on Wednesday, five months after being shot when she was meeting with constituents in Tucson. She will be living nearby in a home owned by her husband.

Kelly said Giffords was a little bit apprehensive about leaving the hospital.

"A little bit of a sad day, but she was happy to get here. We had a very busy lifestyle, different places, so in any given year, she was here very rarely, but it's very familiar with her, so that's nice," Kelly said.

Giffords will make daily trips to the hospital for therapy. It is unclear whether she will ever recover enough to resume her duties as a congresswoman.

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