Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giffords Reportedly Undergoing Skull Surgery

The critically wounded wife of Endeavour mission commander Mark Kelly is reportedly undergoing surgery to replace parts of her skull today while her astronaut-spouse works aboard the International Space Station.

Several news media organizations are reporting that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during a Jan. 8 assassination attempt, is undergoing a procedure called "cranioplasty" at the Houston hospital where she is recovering.

Check out a report from our colleague Gina Sunseri of ABC News HERE.

A report from our sister Gannett newspaper, The Arizona Republic, is HERE.

Gifford's chief of staff, Pia Carusone, said after Endeavour's launch Monday that cranioplasty would be the congresswoman's next major medical challenge. Asked whether she would have the surgery while her husband was in space, she said the timing would be up to her doctors.

NASA Lead Shuttle Flight Director Gary Horlacher said he was unaware of whether Giffords is undergoing surgery today. But he added the NASA Flight Suregons are keeping Kelly informed.

As for Kelly's performance today in space, Horlacker said it was "unbelievable." He called Kelly's docking at the International Space Station "silky smooth."

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