In her first television interview since being shot point-blank in the head, Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly spoke with Diane Sawyer for an episode of “20/20.” Set to air tonight on ABC News, the special features never before seen home video footage of the Jewish congresswoman’s recovery process.
Giffords still undergoes speech therapy every day, and has trouble expressing herself verbally. She tells Sawyer that the recovery process was “difficult” and calls her astronaut husband “brave,” but does not appear to form complete sentences.
The special will primarily be made up of exclusive home videos taken by Kelly and their family to document every moment of Giffords’ recovery so that she could look back one day at what she had overcome.
"It's clear that any lower, it would've killed her, any further midline, it would've killed her," Kelly tells Sawyer. "If it crossed hemispheres, it would've killed her. Any further outboard, she'd never be able to speak again. Any higher, she'd never be able to walk."
Kelly and Gifford co-wrote a book about their experience, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope." In the opening, Kelly writes of what he and his wife had anticipated for 2011: the last flight of the orbiter Endeavor, a third term in Congress, and the conception of a child. Instead, the pair battled through an agonizing recovery process that will likely continue for years.
Nonetheless, Giffords is planning her return to congress, but doesn’t plan to decide until May 2012, the campaign filing deadline. The last chapter of the book, written in Gifford’s voice, explains her desire to work once more for the American people.
"I will get stronger," she writes. "I will return."
The ABC News exclusive "Gabby and Mark: Courage and Hope” airs tonight at 10 p.m.