Heartwarming: New Photo Shows Smiling Gabrielle Giffords

Posted: Jun 13, 2011 8:12 AM

Although her recovery has been frustratingly slow -- but steady -- according to staffers, this newly-released image of Gabby Giffords is a very welcome sight, indeed:

The details:

Two portraits of a smiling Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gave the nation its closest look yet at the congresswoman's remarkable recovery less than six months after she was shot in the head at point-blank range outside a supermarket.

The pictures posted Sunday on Facebook were the first clear photos of the Arizona congresswoman who rose to national prominence after a gunman opened fire on her in January as she met with constituents in Tucson. Six people were killed and 13 others wounded.  But the images left unanswered many questions about her cognitive abilities and when — or even if — she will be able to resume her job in Congress. 

The congresswoman's staff said the images had not been altered or touched up in any way. But other than saying the pictures were taken May 17 at the Houston rehabilitation hospital where Giffords has been undergoing treatment, her staff offered no further insight into her recovery.

We wish Giffords well, pray for her full recovery, and remember those who didn't survive January's horrific massacre.