Giffords releases first post-shooting photos
The US Congresswoman who was shot in the head in January has released the first photos of herself since the shooting.
Gabrielle Giffords posted the photos on her Facebook page. Both pictures were taken the day before the Arizona representative underwent surgery to replace part of her skull. No pictures of her post-surgery have been released.
The photos show how far Giffords has come since a gunman shot her through the brain on 8 January outside a supermarket near Tucson, Arizona, where she was meeting constituents.
With flecks of grey visible in her now closely-cropped dark hair and wearing wire-rimmed glasses, Giffords smiles broadly in one of the two pictures, which is dated 17 May. A second photograph shows her, still smiling, seated next to her mother, Gloria Giffords.
Her official congressional portrait taken before the shooting shows a smiling Giffords with chin-length blond-streaked hair standing before the pillars of the U.S. Congress building.
A spokesman said Giffords and her husband, the astronaut Mark E Kelly, released the photographs in an effort to prevent her from being hounded by photographers when she leaves hospital later this month.
“We’ve heard there is a bounty for photographs of her. To avoid a paparazzi situation, they wanted to get these photos out.”