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Updated Dec 7, 2011 - 8:55 pm

Rep. Gabby Giffords timeline

Since the January 8 shooting that left six people dead and 19 injured, the recovery of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been nothing short of remarkable. Here is a timeline of the events, giving an idea of just how far she's come.

Saturday, January 8 - Congress on Your Corner
Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a political meet-and-greet with constituents. Nineteen people were shot and 6 were killed, including a 9-year-old girl, an aide to Giffords and a U.S. district court judge. Suspect Jared Lee Loughner was tackled by shoppers. Part of the Giffords's skull had to be removed to reduce swelling.

January 10 - Congresswoman raises 2 fingers, gives thumbs-up
Doctors treating Giffords reported the congresswoman was responding to verbal commands by raising two fingers of her left hand and even managed to give a thumbs-up. Doctors said the bullet traveled the length of the left side of the congresswoman's brain, entering the back of the skull and exiting the front. Her doctors have declined to speculate on what specific disabilities Giffords may face as her recovery progresses.

January 12 - Giffords continues progress in her recovery
Giffords continues making good progress in her recovery and breathing on her own. Doctors reported there had been no setbacks so far. She has been kept sedated, with doctors bringing her to consciousness periodically to test brain function. Doctors have said the third to fifth days after injury are crucial as to swelling of the brain.

January 12 - President Obama attends memorial service in Tucson
President Obama, Arizona's governor and the entire Arizona congressional delegation attend a packed memorial service in Tucson. President Obama said: "And I can tell you this - she knows we're here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey." Congresswomen who visited their friend and colleague before the memorial the injured congresswoman opened an eye for the first time.

January 14 - Doctors more 'confident' about Giffords' progress
Giffords began opening her eyes more frequently and following more complex demands, moving both legs and arms. She's also begun responding to family and friends.

January 26 - Hundreds turn out as Giffords heads to rehab in Houston
Giffords was flown form University Medical Center to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, a rehabilitation center where she would continue her recovery with aggressive therapy.

February 17 - Giffords is alert, one of first words was 'better'
Giffords undergoes therapy morning until night. She's laughing at jokes and eating sushi and even spoke the word ``better'' when asked recently by her husband how she was doing.

March 3 - Giffords shows more progress in recovery
Giffords has been showing emotion, good memory skills and an impressive grasp of everything from legislative business to song lyrics.

March 11 - Giffords makes 'leaps and bounds' in recovery
Doctors reported removing her breathing tube the previous week. They say Giffords is showing emotion is especially encouraging because the bullet pierced the front of her head, an area that controls personality.

April 27 - Giffords walks onto plane
Giffords was filmed boarding a plane for Florida to watch her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, lead the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. It's the first time she's been seen publicly since she was shot. Giffords was kept out of view of the many who attended the launch. The launch was canceled, but she returned to watch the May 16 launch.

May 6 - Giffords dines out in Houston with Kelly, friends
Giffords dined out with her husband and their friends.

May 19 - 'Gorgeous Gabby' sheds helmet after skull surgery
Giffords underwent successful surgery to repair her skull; congresswoman no longer had to wear a helmet she'd worn since she was shot in the head. When Giffords was wounded, doctors removed a piece of her skull to allow her brain to swell, and she wore the helmet for protection. The missing bone was replaced with a piece of molded hard plastic with tiny screws.

June 12 - First photos of Giffords released since shooting
Images of a smiling Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were posted Sunday on her Facebook page, two photos that show her with shorter, darker hair but few signs that she suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

June 16 - US Rep. Giffords moves to husband's Texas home
Giffords has moved into her husband's suburban Houston home, beginning a new phase in her recovery that will allow her to blend daily trips to the hospital with a more routine family life. She struggles to speak and walk, and will continue daily, intensive therapy for months, and possibly years.

June 17 - Giffords to visit hometown of Tucson this weekend

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' staff said the Arizona congresswoman will visit Tucson for Father's Day weekend in her first time back to her hometown since she was shot in January.

June 17/19 - Giffords to visit hometown of Tucson this weekend

Rep. Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly visited Tucson, getting Mexican takeout Friday and going for a ride in downtown Tucson Saturday. Giffords also had a reunion with her staff Saturday before celebrating father's day Sunday morning.

August 1 - Giffords appears on House floor to vote for debt ceiling compromise

In a statement, Gifford's spokesman C.J. Karamargin said the debt ceiling vote was "the single most important vote taken this year by the House of Representatives". Giffords later tweeted that the U.S. Capitol looked beautiful and that she was "honored" to be at work.

August 2 - Giffords' political future still uncertain

Arizona politicians are eagerly awaiting a decision on whether Giffords is going to seek re-election in 2012.

August 30 - Giffords walking without cane, writing left-handed

A spokesman for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says the Arizona congresswoman has been walking on her own for some time.

September 5 - Giffords returns to Houston after visit to Ariz.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has returned to Houston following a brief weekend visit to Arizona. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords attended two dinner gatherings in Tucson, Ariz., over the weekend, including one to thank the medical workers who treated her after she was shot Jan. 8.

September 7 - Giffords-Kelly memoir due out in November

The joint memoir of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, soon-to-be-retired astronaut Mark Kelly, is coming out Nov. 15.

September 12 - Arizona Rep. Giffords grants 1st interview to Diane Sawyer

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will give her first TV interview since being shot in January to Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

October 6 - Giffords attends her husband's retirement ceremony

Gabrielle Giffords sat near the vice president and her mother-in-law and looked to be in good spirits at her astronaut husband's retirement ceremony.

November 7 - Slain Giffords aide has congressional room named after him

Gabe Zimmerman died in the shooting that nearly killed Gabrielle Giffords and will now have a prominent room in the U.S. Capitol named after hime.

November 15 - Giffords book, Gabby - A Story of Courage and Hope is released

The book was co-written by Gabrielle Giffords husband, Mark Kelly, and goes into the details of her recovery and life both before and after the shooting.

November 24 - Giffords serves meal at Arizona air base

Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, served Thanksgiving dinner to service members and retirees.

(Copyright 2011 Bonneville International Corporation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.)

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