Giffords to start rehab; condition improves
photo courtesy of Giffords' congressional office Mark Kelly watches the State of the Union Address a hospital room with his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Less than three weeks after a gunman shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head, doctors upgraded the lawmaker’s condition to “good” and moved her to a rehabilitation hospital.

Giffords was transferred last Friday from Tucson’s University Medical Center to Houston’s TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The congresswoman was moved to the hospital to be closer to her husband Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander. The hospital also has facilities and staff that specialize in traumatic head injury treatment.

Giffords’ condition has improved steadily since the Jan. 8 shooting, according to doctors and information her family has released.

Her congressional office released a statement Wednesday saying she watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

The president mentioned Giffords in the speech and her colleagues in Congress left a seat on the floor open in her honor.

“And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague and our friend, Gabby Giffords,” Obama said.

Hospital officials said Giffords doctors plan to give an update on her condition Wednesday afternoon.

The congresswoman’s congressional website has created a page for people to send well wishes.

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