Letters: Giffords' Recovery

Melissa Block reads emails from listeners in response to the interview with Mark Kelly, the husband of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

And we're going to hear some of your letters now. Many of you wrote in about my interview that aired yesterday with Mark Kelly. He's the husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Back in January, Giffords was shot in the head as she met with constituents in Tucson. Her recovery has been slow but steady, with months of physical and speech therapy. Mark Kelly told me about the first time Giffords formulated a question six months after the shooting, a simple how was your day?

CAPTAIN MARK KELLY: It's a big event. It was so big to me, it completely, like, locked my brain up. I hadn't - could not remember one thing I did that day.

BLOCK: Well, John McLucas of Baltimore was impressed with both Giffords and Kelly. He writes this: His kindness and loyalty to her during a crisis in their lives and his pride in her generosity and compassion were equally moving. She is a courageous public servant, and he is a gentleman and a hero.

But Judith Poxon of Sacramento, California, writes that she listened with interest as, quote, "one of the millions of Americans without health insurance." She writes this: Hearing about Giffords' daily hours of physical and speech therapy and her round-the-clock nursing care, I can't help but think how different things would be for me if I were the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.

Now, I wasn't able to speak with Gabby Giffords for my interview, but we did hear her read from the audio version of the book that she and Mark Kelly have just published. It's called "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope."

REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: (Reading) It's frustrating, mentally hard, hard work. I'm trying, trying so hard to get better. I will get stronger. I will return.

BLOCK: Well, Giffords' words compelled Taleah Greve of Montague, Michigan, to send us this note: I had a really tough day at work today, and as I was driving home, I was grumpy, then your lovely story came on about Gabby Giffords. As I heard her voice as she read her chapter, it suddenly put my day into perspective. Thank you for a reminder of the best things in life and thank you for your classy interview. And we leave you with this thought sent by Nathan Baxter of American Fork, Utah. He writes this: Makes me want to hug my wife more often.

Thank you for all of your comments and please do keep them coming. You can write to us at npr.org, click on Contact Us.

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