Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) left an Arizona hospital Friday to travel to a rehabilitation center in Houston.

The congresswoman, who survived a gunshot to the head, was transported from a Tuscon, Ariz., hospital Friday morning to travel to Houston, where she will begin rehabilitation. 


A green and white ambulance took the congresswoman out of the University Medical Center (UMC) under heavy police escort just after 9:15 a.m. Mountain Time to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson. There, she boarded a MedEvac airplane to travel to Houston. She is scheduled to receive treatment at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital, a nationally renowned facility. 

Officials at Memorial Hermann announced in an afternoon news conference that Giffords arrived at the facility just after 2 p.m. Central Time without incident.

People lined the streets to watch the escorted ambulance roll by, cheering as it passed.

Giffords's move was expected, but with her fragile health condition, nothing was a given.

The third-term lawmaker was seriously wounded on Jan. 8, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at public event. Her move comes only 13 days after she suffered her injury.

Eighteen others were shot, six of whom died. Giffords was the last patient treated for injuries at the event to be released from UMC.

CNN reported Friday that she will not begin rehabilitation immediately after arriving in Houston. Instead, she will be taken to the hospital's trauma center for further evaluation and treatment.

Giffords's husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, lives and trains in Houston. He vowed yesterday that his wife would return to normal, saying, "She'll be back."

-- This post was updated at 4:54 p.m.