Giffords leaves hospital to rebuild life
BRAVE Gabrielle Giffords has left hospital to continue her recovery after a gunman shot her in the head five months ago.
Her release marks a new phase in her recovery. She struggles to speak and walk, and will need daily, intensive therapy.
But doctors and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly say going home is a key milestone and could help stimulate her progress.
"Anyone who knows Gabby knows that she loves being outside," Kelly said. "Living and working in a rehab facility for five months straight has been especially challenging for her."
The American congresswoman will move to Kelly's home in League City, a suburb near the Johnson Space Centre, where she will have 24-hour help from a home-care assistant.
The 41-year-old was shot in the part of her brain that controls speech and communication while meeting with constituents in Tucson.
The gunman killed six people and wounded 13 in the attack.
Jordan Grafman, director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory at the Kessler Foundation Research Centre in New Jersey, said being around family often motivates patients.