Nightly News | November 04, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: It has been 10 months now since that awful day in a Safeway grocery store parking lot in Tucson , Arizona . And tonight, because a copy of a long-awaited book has gotten out, we are learning for the first time what Congresswoman Gabby Giffords herself remembers about that day, as well as some of the extraordinary details about her struggle to recover and come back. We get the story tonight from NBC 's Kelly O'Donnell .
KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Two months after the carnage in Tucson , the assassination attempt last January, Gabrielle Giffords finally grasped what had happened, telling her husband, Mark Kelly , she remembered the attack with three words, "Shot, shocked, scary." Giffords and Kelly write about her recovery in a book out
later this month, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope ." The Associated Press obtained an advance copy, reporting that Kelly had tried to tell his wife that six people had been killed, but for a long time she had not understood. Six months after the shooting she wanted to know more. He began by explaining that two friends, aid Gabe Zimmerman and Judge John Roll , had died. Giffords moaned and cried. Then he named the other victims, including nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green . So overcome, Giffords could not continue her therapy. The couple reveals that the brain injury left Giffords with only 50 percent of her eyesight and nearly took her ability to speak. Kelly recalls how panic swept over Giffords the first time she realized that she couldn't talk. When George and Barbara Bush stopped to see her, Kelly says Giffords struggled, and could only utter the word, "chicken." With speech therapy, she can now express herself. Giffords writes just one chapter, called " Gabby 's Voice ," where she proclaims, "I will get stronger. I will return." Close friend, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand , has helped fundraise for Giffords ' next campaign.
Ms. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: Every single time I see her, she's saying more, she's able to articulate things in more complex ways, and her -- she's stronger.
O'DONNELL: Now, when it comes to politics, she has time. Giffords doesn't have to make her re-election ambitions known and official until next spring. Now, we also learn about a more personal struggle. Now, Giffords , who is 41, and her husband, they were married in 2007 and had hoped to have a baby. They write that Giffords had undergone a number of fertility treatments before the
shooting. Brian: Kelly O'Donnell with an early look at the story from our Washington bureau tonight. Kelly ,