A recently released photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has sparked speculation as to her recovery and the challenges she will face in recovery. A gunshot to the head on January 8 has caused a traumatic brain injury from which she has been recovering in inpatient therapy. She will soon be transferred to an outpatient facility for further treatment.
The brain injury caused Giffords to experience aphasia, which impairs her ability to process language. Friends report that she communicates in one or two word sentences, along with hand signals and facial expressions. Some say that she may experience additional long term effects, such as dementia or epilepsy due to her traumatic brain injury.
Some remain optimistic that Rep. Giffords will eventually be able to return to Congress, but doctors speculate that the injuries she has sustained may make this difficult. It is unclear how well she will recover at this point, and a return to Congress is a long way in the future, if at all possible. Read more here