Giffords stands, hugs husband at NASA event - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Gifford hugs husband at NASA event

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reportedly stood up from her wheelchair to hug and kiss her astronaut husband Mark Kelly in front of a crowd of hundreds at a NASA awards ceremony on Monday.

Giffords smiled and waved to the crowd as she received a standing ovation, according to ABC News.

Kelly received a Spaceflight Medal during the ceremony in Houston, which is due to air on NASA TV's website Thursday.

Giffords and Kelly held hands for most of the event, according to the report. The 41-year-old congresswoman also appeared to talk with people sitting around her.

Giffords has been in the Houston area undergoing rehabilitation since several weeks after the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that left her and 12 others wounded and six people dead.

'Getting out more and more'
C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords, told NBC News that the Democrat had been showing continuous improvement in her condition.

In addition to traveling to Florida twice — for the scrubbed shuttle launch and the actual launch — she returned to her home in Tucson over Father's Day weekend.

Karamargin told the Houston Chronicle that he was not surprised by her latest public appearance.

"The congresswoman was just in Tucson … for a Father's Day visit," he said. "She met with the staff there and she climbed a flight of 18 stairs. I think it's no surprise the congresswoman is getting out more and more … She's showing greater physical strength, greater cognitive abilities and greater verbal skills, so it's not a surprise."

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