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The husband of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords says he has not told his wife what happened to her on January 8th. Astronaut Mark Kelly says he also hasn't told her that a close aide was killed during the shooting. Mark Kelly spoke with Arizona Public Media yesterday. NPR's Jeff Brady sat in on the interview and has this report.
JEFF BRADY: Mark Kelly says he's just now starting to catch up on sleep and he spends his days meeting with doctors and nurses to make sure his wife is getting the best care. He's not revealing to Giffords the heavier details of what happened to her yet. Kelly says she likely wouldn't remember anyway, because of her injuries.
Captain MARK KELLY (Astronaut): So I've told her where she is. That she's at UMC and she's got great care and I introduce her to the doctors and the nurses, but we haven't explained to her what happened. I think the best thing, from what I've been told, is as she starts to ask what happened, then you answer the questions.
BRADY: Kelly says this ordeal has been difficult on his two daughters, especially the hours after the shooting when NPR incorrectly reported that Representative Giffords had died.
Capt. KELLY: And we had the news on and it was reported that their stepmother was killed. And we lived with that for about 15, 20 minutes. And it was devastating to them and my mother, who was there, and to me. But that was like the lowest of the low point and ever since then, you know, everything's been positive and she's been getting better.
BRADY: NPR News corrected that report and issued apologies the next day. Kelly says he draws strength from the support people are expressing for the shooting victims. He's received hundreds of emails and letters. Kelly says one was from a ten-year-old boy saying he hopes Giffords gets better. The boy also sent along his lunch money. Kelly says he'll return the $2.52, but he was clearly touched by the sentiment.
Outside the hospital, the lawn is covered with candles, signs and flowers.
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Hospital workers unwrap plastic from the flowers, hoping that will help them last longer in the warm sun. There's a strong smell of scented candles as Tucson resident Shirley Murray slowly walked through the memorial.
Ms. SHIRLEY MURRAY: Well, my husband wanted to take a picture and we just came to be a part of the community.
BRADY: Everywhere there are photos of victims - the injured and the dead. Tina Newell brought her children, hoping they'd learn something.
Ms. TINA NEWELL: That, you know, there is a lot of evil in the world, there is tragedy. But we also come together as a community for strength and help one another.
BRADY: Mark Kelly says he's come down to the memorial - a few times at night and then on Monday.
Capt. KELLY: During the day, I grabbed a teddy bear, brought it into her room and I was hoping that nobody would say, hey, what's going on there? Why are you taking that teddy bear? But now it's on her bed.
BRADY: Kelly is still scheduled to command a space shuttle mission in April. He says he'll decide within two or three weeks whether to go ahead with that. The decision depends on how well Giffords' recovery is going then. He says she'll be headed to a rehabilitation center soon.
Meanwhile the investigation into the shooting continues. Federal law enforcement officials say they now have a lot of high-quality video tape from cameras posted in the Safeway parking lot that Saturday morning. They say the footage clearly shows the gunman methodically shooting the victims.
Jeff Brady, NPR News, Tucson.
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