Entries in Navy Capt. Mark Kelly (3)


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Leaves Tucson Hospital for Rehab in Houston

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Cheered by crowds of well-wishers, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords left the Tucson hospital Friday where she has been treated since suffering a gunshot to her head in an attack nearly two weeks ago.

Giffords is flying to Houston to begin the next step in her recovery, focusing on rehabilitation at a renowned brain injury facility at the Texas Medical Center.

Giffords is being accompanied to Houston by her astronaut husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, her trauma surgeon, Dr. Peter Rhee, and her mother, Gloria Giffords.

In another sign of progress, Giffords was taken outside Thursday for the first time since the attack to give her some sunlight. She stood up Wednesday for the first time with assistance and looked out of a hospital window.

Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to her head Jan. 8 when Jared Lee Loughner allegedly opened fire at the Democratic congresswoman's event outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson.

The motive behind the attack that killed six people and wounded 14 likely might never be understood, Giffords’ husband said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Reportedly Smiles at Her Husband

Photo Courtesy - DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiles at her husband and has even given him back rubs, her doctors said Monday. The tracheotomy tube in the throat of the badly-wounded Arizona congresswoman prevents her from speaking to her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, but the doctors said the smiles were important indicators.

The doctors treating Giffords at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., said at a press conference they performed surgery Saturday on Giffords' eye socket to remove bone fragments.

"At this time we're hoping to continue typing up loose ends" to get ready for the third stage of Giffords' recovery -- rehabilitation, neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole said.

On Sunday Giffords' condition was upgraded from critical to serious, a day after doctors replaced Giffords' breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube to allow her to breathe better and free her from the ventilator. Kelly said that Giffords is now moving around enough to give him a back rub.

"I keep tellin' her. I'm like, 'Gabby, you're in the ICU. You know, you don't need -- you know, you don't need to be doin' this.' But it's so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she's lookin' out for other people," Kelly told ABC News in an interview set to air Tuesday.

Kelly has been by his wife's side since the shooting on Jan. 8, rushing there from his home in Houston where he currently lives and trains for his role as NASA Astronaut Commander of space shuttle Endeavour's final mission to space this April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tucson Tragedy: An Astronaut's Burden

Photo Courtesy - DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The anguish over the Tucson shootings has been felt across the country, and keenly at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband, Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, is a NASA astronaut. It so happens he's also the commander of STS-134, the space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled for launch on the evening of April 19 -- and currently listed as the very last flight in the space shuttle program.

It would be the highest-profile assignment of Capt. Kelly's career, but apparently -- at his suggestion -- NASA has named astronaut Rick Sturckow as backup commander for the mission.  He will take Kelly's place for now in leading training for the rest of Endeavour's crew.  He will not fly unless Kelly simply cannot make it.

"Mark is still the commander of STS-134," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office. "He is facing many uncertainties now as he supports Gabrielle, and our goal is to allow him to keep his undistracted attention on his family while allowing preparations for the mission to progress. Designating a backup allows the crew and support team to continue training, and enables Mark to focus on his wife's care."

Endeavour is to deliver final components to the International Space Station -- where Mark's twin brother, Scott, is orbiting on a six-month mission. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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