Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, still recovering from a devastating Jan. 8 gunshot wound, made her first public appearance Monday in support of her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, ABC News reports.
Giffords stood up from her wheelchair in front of a crowd in Houston to hug and kiss her husband when he received his Spaceflight Medial, given to all astronauts who safely return from their mission, ABC reports.
Giffords smiled, waved and received a standing ovation from the overflow crowd, amid unusually tight security, according to tweets from the event, reports culturemap Houston.
The award ceremony, for the entire Space Shuttle Endeavour Crew, took place at the Space Center Houston, next to the Johnson Space Center, culturemap reports.
Her hair was much shorter than in previously published photos, ABC reports, adding that she was wearing glasses, a beige scarf, a light shirt, jeans and sneakers.
Kelly recently announced that he was retiring from NASA, saying: "Gabrielle is working hard every day on her mission of recovery. I want to be by her side. Stepping aside from my work in the Navy and at NASA will allow me to be with her and with my two daughters. I love them all very much and there is no doubt that we will move forward together."Gabrielle Giffords, husband sign book deal
Mark Kelly retiring from NASA to be with wife
Special section: Tragedy in Tucson
The couple also announced recently that they have signed a book deal. The book, currently untitled, will be an intimate chronicle of everything from their careers and courtship to the Jan. 8 tragedy when a gunman shot Giffords in the head during a political event in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed in the attack and 12 others besides the congresswoman were wounded. Scribner will publish the book at a date to be determined.
On June 17, Giffords made her first trip back to Tucson, visiting in time for Father's Day weekend. She is currently living in Kelly's home in League City, a town 26 miles south of Houston. She will continue outpatient therapy at the same hospital where she underwent rehabilitation.
Giffords, who was shot in the left side of her head and has been struggling to relearn how to speak and walk, will be assisted by a 24-hour home health provider, according to a statement from the hospital.