Gabrielle Giffords Shows Signs of Recovery in ABC News Special

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America heard Gabby Giffords speak publicly Monday night for the first time since her horrific shooting at a Tucson meet-and-greet in January.

“Pretty good,” a smiling Giffords ⎯ with astronaut husband Mark Kelly beside her ⎯ tells ABC News’ Diane Sawyer about how she now feels. After Sawyer asked “is it painful, is it hard?” the heroic former Congresswoman replies “difficult,” her speech obviously still limited.

(SPECIAL: The Tucson Shooting)

The interview aired on ABC’s 20/20 together with remarkable, previously unseen, footage shot by her husband in the first weeks of her slow recovery from a bullet wound to the brain. It shows Giffords struggling to recover and despairing at one point, sobbing in the arms of her therapist.

Husband Kelly also opens up on the shooting rampage, which injured 12 others and left six dead, in the sit-down with Sawyer, saying: “It’s clear that any lower, it would’ve killed her, any further midline, it would’ve killed her.”

Giffords also expressed that she wants to get better before considering any kind of return to Congress. “She wants to get better,” Kelly said as his wife struggled to complete the sentence.

The couple have written a book, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, about Giffords’ incredible recovery and how the pair previously met and fell in love.

LIST: Gabrielle Giffords ⎯ Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year 2011?

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