Very few people have laid eyes on Gabrielle Giffords since the congresswoman was shot in January.
She did appear, in a blurry fashion, in a long-distance shot as she boarded a jet at Ellington Field to go to her husband's shuttle liftoff. And she went to Grotto Sunday night for dinner. But no photos have emerged of her.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is doing a special Sunday on Giffords's rehabilitation here in Houston, and in a preview piece for the Orlando Sentinel he offers some clues as to her current appearance and her progress.
The public hasn't seen Giffords' face since the shooting; she has been shielded from cameras.
"I talked to her husband, Mark, about this," Gupta says. "There's a sensitivity because she's missing the left side of her skull. Without that normal contour of her head, it's going to be caved in. She is going to look very different."
Gupta predicts Giffords will look like her old self after bone or bone substitute is put over her brain, possibly this month.
"My guess is we'll see her not too long after that. I think people want to see her," Gupta says. "Mark Kelly has intimated that to me. Frankly, I think this is more of a cosmetic thing than a neurological thing."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
As for her speech, Gupta says doctors tell him she has some difficulties: "She is speaking in declarative, few-word sentences," he tells the paper.