Following the third anniversary of the 2011 Tuscon rally massacre, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords completed a skydive Wednesday to celebrate living life and surviving a gun-shot to the head. The severe brain injury left the right side of her body paralyzed and impacted her ability to speak. Giffords has endured thousands of hours of intensive physical therapy and continues to push herself and enjoy life.
On her facebook page she wrote: “I’m stronger now. I’m winning back movement in my right arm. So I have the opportunity to do something I love: skydiving with my friend, former Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch. Southern Arizona will look beautiful, peaceful from the top of the sky.” Giffords also recently wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, in which she wrote:
“Many may look at me and see mostly what I have lost. I struggle to speak, my eyesight’s not great, my right arm and leg are paralyzed, and I left a job I loved representing southern Arizona in Congress…
This past year, I have achieved something big that I’ve not spoken of until now. Countless hours of physical therapy — and the talents of the medical community — have brought me new movement in my right arm. It’s fractional progress, and it took a long time, but my arm moves when I tell it to. Three years ago, I did not imagine my arm would move again. For so many days, it did not. I did exercise after exercise, day after day, until it did. I’m committed to my rehab and I’m committed to my country, and my resolution, standing with the vast majority of Americans who know we can and must be safer, is to cede no ground to those who would convince us the path is too steep, or we too weak.”