The first photos of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, taken about five months after she was tragically shot in the head, have emerged on Facebook.
The images depict a a woman in recovery, smiling and with short, dark hair. They were taken by a professional photographer on May 17 at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, a day before Giffords under a cranioplasty.
The picture above was not altered or edited, according to her staff, who said it shows "Gabby has traveled a remarkable distance since Jan. 8."
“This was Mark and Gabby’s decision,” said spokesman CJ Karamargin of the pictures' release. “There is intense interest in the Congresswoman’s appearance and on the threshold of her going to outpatient treatment, we thought this was a good way to satisfy public curiosity.”
Giffords is expected to leave the hospital this month.
The man accused of opening fire on her and her constituents in Arizona has been deemed mentally incompetent.