In the latest milestone in Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from a bullet wound to the brain, the congresswoman stood up and looked out a window even as preparations got under way for a move to Houston, where she'll undergo extensive mental and physical rehabilitation.
Her swift transition from an intensive care unit to a rehab center is based on the latest research, which shows the sooner rehab starts, the better patients recover.
Giffords' family hopes to move the Arizona congresswoman on Friday to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, where her husband lives and works as an astronaut.
"I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting," Mark Kelly said in a statement released by Giffords' congressional office. The staff at University Medical Center in Tucson "has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase."
Her progress was evident Wednesday as she stood on her feet with assistance from medical staff, hospital spokeswoman Janet Stark said.