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Aide says Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' hospital release may be soon

Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot when a gunman opened fire at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011.

June 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords could be released from a rehabilitation hospital in Houston in the next few weeks.

An aide to the Arizona congresswoman said she could be released before the end of the month or early July, offering the latest indication that Giffords is making progress in recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

She has regained some of her ability to walk and talk during her five months at TIRR Memorial Hermann, the hospital where she has been undergoing intensive daily rehabilitation.

Dr. Dong Kim describes her recovery as "almost miraculous" and doctors previously had noted the congresswoman's remarkable survival. Only 10 percent of people shot in the head live and many who do remain in a vegetative state.

The next step will be outpatient therapy.

Giffords' chief of staff says it's not clear when or if she can resume her duties in congress.

Giffords was shot on Jan. 8 while she was at a meet-and-greet with constituents in her home district of Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and a dozen others wounded in the attack outside a supermarket.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.