Injured U.S. congresswoman Giffords releases photos of recovery progress

13:49, June 13, 2011      

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U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot during an appearance in Tucson, Arizona is seen in an undated handout photo provided by her Congressional office in Washington, January 8, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The U.S. public could eventually got the chance on Sunday to see two photos of the recovering Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head over five months ago in Tucson, Arizona.

The decision to share the pictures, the only official images released by Giffords' staff since the Jan. 8 shooting rampage, was made by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. The rampage left six dead, and 41-year-old Giffords, as well as 12 others wounded.

Kelly hopes these two photos will help Giffords avoid the glare of camera lenses when she begins outpatient therapy later this month.

The move was meant to satisfy "public curiosity about her appearance," C.J. Karamargin, Giffords' communications director said. "We want to avoid a paparazzi situation."

The pictures were taken at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas on May 17, the day before she had her cranioplasty when surgeons shaved her head and replaced a missing piece of her skull.

A day earlier Kelly commanded the space shuttle Endeavor on its final trip to the international space station.

"Wow! I saw her at the very end of March, and even then, Gabby was all there, her smile, her personality. And she looks even better now,"Linda Lopez, Arizona state senator and a friend of Giffords said in a posting on the congresswoman's website.

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