Mark Kelly told a crowd of several thousand people this morning that the health of his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., continues to improve.
Giffords's recovery from a gunshot wound to the head "gets a little better" every day, Kelly said at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, where President Obama expressed best wishes to the couple.
“The neurosurgeons and neurologists tell me it's a great sign,” Kelly said. “The slope of that curve is very important.”
Giffords was shot at point-blank range during a public event at a shopping center in Tucson, Ariz., on January 8. Since the shooting, doctors have said she has made a remarkable recovery, though she still has limited movement on her right side and it is unclear whether she can speak.
“The last month has been the hardest of my life and the hardest time of my family's life,” Kelly said. “We're not the only ones.... The shooting has cost other families dearly. Gabby's community in Tucson, my community in Tucson, the people of Tucson are suffering deeply -- but suffering together.”
While Giffords's recovery is progressing, the question of whether Kelly, an astronaut, will lead the space shuttle Endeavour's final mission in April is still hanging in the air. If Kelly were to command the vessel, as scheduled, he would leave Giffords during her stay in rehab for several weeks.
In an Associated Press interview, Kelly’s twin brother, Scott, said that if NASA were to allow Kelly to fly the mission, “[Mark] would have no problem fulfilling his responsibilities the same way if this incident did not occur.”