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Giffords released from hospital; will continue outpatient therapy

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Rep. Giffords released from hospital
  • NEW: Husband, "She will be with her family."
  • Giffords expects to begin outpatient therapy soon
  • She has been in the hospital since January
  • Giffords continues to recover from a head shot wound

(CNN) -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been released from the hospital in Houston, Texas, and expects to begin outpatient treatment soon, according to a statement released Wednesday by TIRR Memorial Hermann.

Giffords was shot in the head January 8 during a mass shooting incident in Arizona. She is expected to move into her home in League City, Texas, where she will continue rehabilitation therapy.

"We are very excited that she has reached the next phase of her rehabilitation and can begin outpatient treatment," said Dr. Gerard Francisco, the hospital's chief medical officer. Francisco will continue to supervise Giffords' case.

Giffords will still get intensive therapy as an outpatient and will work with the same rehab team that has been with her from the beginning, the statement said. She has been at TIRR Memorial Hermann since late January.

"Gabby gives her all to everything she does, and that's exactly what she's been doing at TIRR since January 26," said Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband. "The remarkable progress she has made since then is a testament to both her single-minded determination to get better and the team of medical professionals overseeing her care."

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Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is charged in the mass shooting in which six people were killed and 13 others, including Giffords, were wounded in front of a Safeway grocery story in Tucson, Arizona. A federal judge ruled last month that Loughner is not competent to stand trial. His next court date is scheduled for September 21.

Giffords' road to recovery has been marked by a number of public milestones, including a trip to see the space shuttle launch that carried her husband on a 16-day mission in May and the recent release of new photos showing a smiling, relaxed Giffords. When the photos were posted on Giffords' Facebook page, she received an outpouring of well wishes.

"You are so special," Facebook poster, John Evanchik, wrote. "And you have so much courage and fortitude that I am so proud to say that you are a real role model for so many people who, in their circumstance, they probably give up, but not you, Congresswoman. Yes, God has blessed you."

The photos were taken prior to Giffords' May 18 surgery to replace a portion of her skull removed earlier to relieve pressure on her brain.

Francisco said Wednesday that doctors are enthusiastic about Giffords' recovery and expect it to continue to go well.

"Living and working in a rehab facility for five months straight has been especially challenging for her," Kelly said in the hospital statement. "She will still go to TIRR each day but from now on, when she finishes rehab, she will be with her family."