Gabrielle Giffords Smiles in First Photos Since Shooting

06/12/2011 at 09:05 AM EDT

Gabrielle Giffords Smiles in First Photos Since Shooting
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her mother Gloria Giffords
P.K. Weis/Giffords Campaign
Since the January shooting that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded, the Arizona congresswoman has been recovering in private.

But on Sunday, Giffords posted two photographs of herself on her official Facebook page.

The images, which were taken by photographer P.K. Weis, on May 17 – the day after the congresswoman attended husband Mark Kelly's NASA shuttle launch – outside a Houston, Texas, medical center. They show a smiling Giffords with short, darker hair wearing wire-rimmed glasses.





"These photos reveal an upbeat image of Gabrielle Giffords," spokesman C.J. Karamargin tells PEOPLE. "When you see the pictures you see that she has progressed in leaps and bounds. When they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, if ever that was true, it is true here."

In one of the images she's with her mother, Gloria Giffords. "Gloria has been by her side throughout," Karamargin said. "You can see the mother-daughter bond [in the photo]. It is an apt reflection of their relationship."

Gabrielle Giffords Smiles in First Photos Since Shooting| Gabrielle Giffords

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

P.K. Weis / Giffords Campaign

As for that smile, Karamargin said Giffords was beaming after watching the launch of space shuttle Endeavor captained by her husband.

"She was in very, very good spirits. The reason was that she got to watch Mark ride off into space. She was thrilled by that. People who know her say they saw a boost in her spirits and her strength. And her doctors predicted this might happen," Karamargin said. "Going to the launch was a tremendous milestone for her."

Giffords will soon have even more to smile about when she reaches another milestone. Doctors, Karamargin said, expect to release her from the hospital to an outpatient program.

"They are preparing her to go home," he said. "This is wonderful for her."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters