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updated 1/24/2011 2:09:52 PM ET 2011-01-24T19:09:52

An intern to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who aided the congresswoman after she was shot in the head and the family of a 9-year-old girl who was killed will sit with first lady Michelle Obama for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

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Giffords' husband, Houston-based astronaut Mark Kelly, does not plan to attend. Kelly was invited, but her office said he wants to stay close to his wife.

Giffords was transferred last Friday from the Tucson hospital where she had been a patient since the Jan. 8 shooting to a Houston facility for rehabilitation.

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Intern Daniel Hernandez was hailed as a hero after the rampage in Tucson in which 18 others were shot at a constituent event the Democratic congresswoman was holding. Six people were killed, including a federal judge and 9-year-old girl Christina Taylor Green.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that Hernandez and Green's family would attend the speech.

The 20-year-old University of Arizona student rushed to Giffords' side and put pressure on her wounds until medical personnel arrived.

Story: Loughner pleads not guilty to Tucson shootings

When he spoke Jan. 12 at a nationally televised memorial service in Tucson, Hernandez shunned the hero label. But when it was his turn to speak, Obama politely disagreed and assured Hernandez that he was, in fact, a hero.

Hernandez sat next to Obama during the service. On Tuesday night, he and Mrs. Obama's other guests will sit in her box overlooking the floor of the House.

Giffords' office also said her Arizona doctors — trauma surgeons Peter Rhee and Randall Friese and neurosurgeon Michael Lemole — and nurse Tracy Culbert planned to attend the annual address.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Fluid buildup is setback for Giffords

  1. Closed captioning of: Fluid buildup is setback for Giffords

    >> giffords' road to recovery hit a setback over the weekend. janet shamlian has the latest on that. good morning to you.

    >> reporter: they are keeping her in intensive care longer than hoped. it was planned to move her to the rehab society but due to a side effect from this brain injury she is not ready to make that move. a small setback for gabby giffords . with a build-up of fluid on her brain she won't move to the rehab unit of the houston hospital as quickly as planned.

    >> several days ago in tucson there was a little fluid collection that the docs put a drain into around her brain. that drain is still in place. with that drain in place she can't leave the icu.

    >> reporter: despite the complication, giffords is already in therapy. her husband, astronaut mark kelly tweeting sunday, gabrielle starts her second day of rehab in 20 minutes at memorial hermann. no weekends off here.

    >> we try to wean the patient off the drain by draining less frequently and trying to assess whether or not the brain is capable itself of reabsorbing the fluid.

    >> reporter: as treatment continues in texas, in phoenix today jared loughner, the man accused of shooting giffords and killing six others, will make his first appearance in federal court . the 22-year-old facing charges of attempting to assassinate the congresswoman and the attempted murder of two of her staff members. although further charges are expected and he could face the death penalty if convicted. nbc news has obtained these photos of loughner taken by a friend at a party. tierney is the friend who got a call from loughner in the hours before the shooting who said loughner sounded suicidal. it is a different look from loughner's disturbing mug shot n. the photos taken two years ago he has a full head of hair and is surrounded by friends. loughner is expected to enter a plea on the federal charges against him in that arraignment in phoenix this afternoon. as gabby giffords continues her fight here in houston. matt?

    >> all right. janet shamlian , thank

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