Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kelly: Giffords doing well after surgery

Endeavour commander Mark Kelly kept track of his wife's surgery Wednesday, and said this morning that it had gone well.

"I had the chance at the end of the day to call her mom and her chief of staff and my brother periodically as the surgery was going on, and she’s doing really well," Kelly said from the International Space Station during a media interview. "Everything went as planned. Her neurosurgeons are very happy. She’s recuperating and she’s actually getting back to therapy today. It went really, really well."

Kelly's wife, Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head Jan. 8 at a constituent event in Tucson. Six people were killed and 12 others wounded during the shooting rampage.

On Wednesday, doctors attached a piece of synthetic bond to replace a section of Giffords' skull that was removed to allow her brain to swell.

"Obviously, this has been a long road since Jan. 8th for us," Kelly continued. "Her having surgery yesterday was not planned all along but she was ready and doctors wanted to do it then, and it didn’t make sense to wait a couple weeks until I got back. So I’ve been thinking a little bit about that. But it’s a pretty common surgery and it went really well."

Kelly held up Giffords' wedding ring, which he is wearing around his neck, and each crew member showed off blue "Peace Love Gabby" wrist bands distributed after the shooting.

Giffords wore Kelly's ring while she watched Endeavour launch Monday morning from Kennedy Space Center with families of Endeavour's other five crew members.

Kelly said she enjoyed the experience, even though the view of Endeavour didn't last long before the shuttle disappeared through a low cloud deck.

"She was really excited to be at the launch, really enjoyed it a lot," he said. "They really had a great time despite the fact that we went through some clouds there at about 20 seconds."

IMAGE: Astronauts on the International Space Station showed off blue wristbands bearing the message "Peace Love Gabby."

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