Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stood on both feet with assistance and looked out a window, another milestone in her recovery after a gunman fired a bullet through her brain during an attack in Tucson, Ariz., 11 days ago, according to University Medical Center officials.
She soon will be moved to a hospital in Houston.
Giffords is expected to be transported Friday to the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Houston's Memorial Hermann hospital, which specializes in brain injuries, her office said today. The exact day of the move could change, depending on Giffords' condition.
The institute, also known as TIRR Memorial Hermann, is part of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Giffords' office said in a statement that facilities across the country had been considered for her rehabilitation but TIRR was chosen because of its reputation and proximity to Tucson.
Her husband, astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, lives in Houston, where he trains at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
The congresswoman is the last of the shooting victims remaining at Tucson's University Medical Center, the hospital said today.
Giffords' mother told friends and family Tuesday that her daughter was showing "higher levels of comprehension and complex actions," even flipping through photos on her husband's iPhone, according to an e-mail message obtained by the New York Times.
In a poignantly personal interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer that aired Tuesday night, Capt. Kelly opened up about his wife Gabrielle Giffords' recovery and the shooting that injured her and killed six people.
Kelly, who has been photographed by his wife's hospital bed holding her hand, said there is a habit of hers that has convinced him that she recognizes him.
"If I hold her hand, she'll play with my wedding ring," he said. "She'll move it up and down my finger. She'll take it off. ... She'll put it on her own finger. She'll move it to her thumb. And then she can put it back on my finger.
"The reason why I know that that means she recognizes me is because she's done that before. She'll do that if we're sitting in a restaurant. She'll do the same exact movements," he said.
Kelly was struck by Giffords' progress again when "she stuck her hand up on the side of my face" and began giving him a neck massage.
"She spent 10 minutes rubbing my neck and I keep telling her, 'Gabby, you're in the ICU. You know, you don't need to be doing this," he said with a chuckle.
Kelly added, "I'm pretty sure she wouldn't do that to somebody else. And she's looking me in the eye."
Nevertheless, he is still unsure about the extent of her eventual recovery.
"At times I'm 100 percent confident that she's going to make a 100 percent recovery," he told Sawyer. "And, you know, at other times I don't know."
Later Kelly said, "She's got a great sense of humor. I've thought about whether that part of her will be the same."
Now in Tucson's University Hospital, Kelly is closely monitoring his wife's recovery, tackling every detail with the same focus he brings to his job as a space shuttle commander. In the first days after the attack, he slept in the hospital and only recently has begun to stay in a hotel across the street.