Three and a half months after being shot at point blank range in the head, all Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wants to do is go back to work. Most Americans are hoping the amazing and hard-fought recovery of the Congresswoman will result in her attending her husband’s launch into space on the Shuttle Endeavor.

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Husband Mark Kelly, who has been a constant positive voice to America about his wife’s miraculous recovery told CBS recently that he hopes she’ll be able to make the launch, but what’s more important is what she does after that. Kelly says all his wife wants to do is return to Washington.

“One thing she frequently comes back to is, you know, going back to work. Going back to her office. And – you know, how important it is for her to serve her constituents. She talks about that all the time. Going back to Tucson. I mean, she wants to get back to Tucson. She wants to get back to her district. She wants to get back to Washington.”

The media coverage of this extremely rare ongoing good-news story has reported hopeful information concerning Gabrielle Giffords. Phrases like “recovering in leaps and bounds” and “exceeding all expectations” may cause some to expect to see a completely normal and fully recovered congresswoman walking out of her recovery clinic any day now. But the reality is that most people who survive a shot to the head are comatose or severely disabled. Any recovery of cognitive skills such as conversation or motor skills such as walking constitutes a “miraculous recovery.”

“If somebody has a severe brain injury, are they ever going to be like they were before? The answer is no,” said Dr. Dong Kim. “They are never going to be the exact same person.”

Still, I find myself, like most, hoping for an even more extreme miracle. She has, after all, recovered some conversational abilities and motor skills, so who’s to say she won’t continue? For now, I’d just love to see Rep. Gabrielle Giffords make the shuttle launch at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Aides, sharing America’s optimism, have already booked her for Congress and Senate races in 2012 and beyond. The point is, if doctors don’t know how far her recovery will go, why not plan for the best? What do you think of the Arizona Congresswoman’s recovery? Let me know in the comment section!

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