Gabrielle Giffords Heads Home to Tucson

Trip home 'will mean the world to her,' says rep
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2011 6:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Barely released from the rehab center where she's spent the last five months, Gabrielle Giffords made a beeline for her hometown Tucson yesterday for the first time since she left it 13 days after she was shot. "We've been dreaming of this trip for some time," husband Mark Kelly said in the statement. "Gabby misses Tucson very much, and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery. It is sure to be very emotional." The couple traveled via private plane with Kelly's daughter, and their weekend plans were kept quiet.

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"I miss Tucson" was often heard during Giffords' five months in Texas rehab, and staffers would remind her of favorite haunts to cheer her on tough days, reports the Arizona Republic. "We've had moments of daydreaming," says one. As a congresswoman, Giffords made the 7-hour trek home every weekend she could. "Now that she is an outpatient, her first priority was coming home to the place that is such a source of strength for her," Kelly said. (Read more Gabrielle Giffords stories.)

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