You have to see it to believe it. Gabby Giffords’ recovery from the 2011 shooting has been remarkable. Along the way, the former Congresswoman has not only surprised medical professionals, but everyone who has followed her story.
Though Giffords resigned from her Arizona Congressional seat in 2012, she was on Capitol Hill today, making a push to find ways to prevent gun violence against women as the head of the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, that she and her husband founded last year.
Here’s a look back on the journey that has brought Giffords from her hospital bed back to the halls of Congress:
Jan. 8, 2011: Tragedy in Tucson
When news first broke on Jan. 8 that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others had been shot outside of an Arizona convenience store, it wasn’t clear whether she would survive the gunshot wound to her brain. Six others, tragically, did not.
Jan. 21, 2011: Beginning Rehab
Giffords left the hospital in Tucson and arrived in a Houston rehab facility, with doctors saying “she looked fantastic.”
Aug. 1, 2011: ‘Electricity’ in the House of Representatives
Giffords made her first appearance on Capitol Hill since being shot in her district, as the entire House gave her a standing ovation before she voted in support of the deal that would raise the debt ceiling.
Nov. 14, 2011: ‘Difficult’
In her first interview since the shooting with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, Giffords said her recovery had been “difficult.”
Jan. 25, 2012: Focusing On Recovery
Giffords resigned her seat a day after attending President Obama’s State of the Union speech. In her resignation letter she wrote “I will recover and will return, and we will work together again.”
Jan. 8, 2013: Back in Action, ‘Enough’
On the two-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting, Giffords sat down with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer to announce her and her husbands’ launch of efforts to support tightening gun control measures.
April 30, 2014: Doing Yoga, ‘Getting Better’
She wowed a crowd of Democratic activists Tuesday, telling the crowd gathered for an event for Emily’s List “it has been a long, hard haul, but I am getting better.”
May 1, 2014: Back to Capitol Hill
Giffords made the rounds on Capitol Hill, meeting with Democratic Senators who are working on legislation to keep domestic abusers from possessing firearms as well as other lawmakers.
In a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Giffords encouraged the committee to hold hearings to discuss how to stop women from experience gun violence by domestic abusers: “Congressional action has meant the difference between life and death for many women. But many of those who perpetrate violence against women are still allowed easy access to firearms,” she wrote.
Giffords met with Leahy as well as Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. — who are working on legislation to keep domestic abusers from possessing firearms. They praised Giffords, saying her presence at the meeting reminds them of the need to strengthen gun laws.
“I kept thinking as Gabby Giffords was here of the first meeting that I saw when she visited Newtown, literally within a week or so of the tragedy there and met with the families in one of their homes and she was absolutely such a source of courage and strength for those families and for the community and for us as we fought this battle,” Blumenthal said. “Now she is continuing, and we are determined to continue as well.”
Blumenthal and Murphy are working on new legislation to that would prohibit those who have committed acts of domestic violence and are under permanent court order and temporary protective orders from possessing firearms.
ABC’s Arlette Saenz contributed reporting.