I think we need a moment to raise our heads above the swamp of Washington politics for a moment. My eyes got a little misty at this very sweet moment of space shuttle commander Mark Kelly, courtesy of the band U2.
Bono dedicates one of injured Rep. Giffords' favorite songs to her, then says to the crowd: "Imagine a man looking down on us from 200 miles up. Looking down at our beautiful crowded planet... What would he say to us...? What is on your mind, Commander Kelly?"
Commander Kelly then appears on the video screen, speaking from the international Space Station. He holds up a serious of words that read "7 Billion - One Nation - Imagi Nation - It's a Beautiful Day."
It's just sweet. Kelly has since landed and reunited with Giffords. But this is a good opportunity for us to check in and see where Giffords is with her recovery. She can walk and talk in short, halting sentences. While Kelly was in space, her doctors in Houston operated to implant a plastic skull fragment, allowing her to finally shed the protective helmet she was required to wear since the shooting.
Doctors had planned this surgery for a while. The bullet left a hole in Giffords' skull, and doctors removed another section to relieve pressure. But they couldn't reuse the section because it was fragmented and contaminated. Instead, the surgeons implanted a synthetic piece that was custom fit to cover the hole. With that in place, Giffords can now cast aside her protective helmet.[..]
Dr. DONG KIM (Director, Mischer Neuroscience Institute, TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital): It's only been about four months, and really for a patient to come this far as she has in that period of time after the kind of injury she had is almost miraculous. I mean, she has made tremendous progress.