The memoir has been released. She’s on the cover of People. So, the interview had to be next. On Monday night’s edition of 20/20, Diane Sawyer will be interviewing Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.
Since being shot in the head on January 8 in Tucson by Jared Loughner (who shot 19 people and killed 6 that day) Giffords’ recovery has been characterized as “miraculous.” It may not seem so to those watching the interview. Giffords still has difficulty speaking and has some residual paralysis on her right side. The miracle is in what might have been her fate. The bullet passed through the left side of her brain. It could have exploded inside her head, turning half her brain to soup. It could have shattered her skull more extensively than it did, filling her brain with bone shards. It could have left her in a vegetative state or severely brain damaged. It could have destroyed her motor functions, leaving her in a wheelchair or a hospital bed for life. It didn’t. That was the first miracle. The injury could be overcome. She could learn to talk and walk again and function at or near her pre-shooting levels.
That is what people need to see when they watch on Monday, not how far she still has to go, but how far she has come from lying comatose, head wrapped in bandages, face swollen and bruised, plugged in to a dozen tubes to sustain her life a mere 11 months ago.
The Arizona Democratic Party is holding her place for her, not putting forth an alternative candidate for her House seat. Giffords has said she will make the decision on whether or not to run in this year’s election by mid-spring. In the meantime, friends like New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are making sure that there will be enough money for Giffords to run if she chooses to. One potential Republican rival has already learned the hard way that the one thing no one should use when campaigning against Giffords is her physical condition. The people of Tucson will not tolerate it.
Check you local listings for time and channel for 20/20 on ABC.