Kelly's daughters from a previous marriage, Claudia and Claire, made
an rare public appearance on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" to talk
about Giffords, whom they said they had originally decided not to like.
"We were never rude, we would just never give her the time of day or treat her like we would any other person," explained Claudia Kelly.
Initial reports following the shooting spree in January, where a gunman shot Giffords in the head at a Tucson, Ariz., constituent meet and greet, erroneously indicated Giffords's injuries were fatal. Kelly said in January that he was with his daughters when he heard the news and thought his wife was dead.
"Once we found out that things are getting better, getting
better, it was: This is the time, this is my second chance," she said.
Kelly complimented Giffords, as he has in the past, on her "determination," which he said had been her response to both the injury and the "tough" relationship between Giffords and the two girls prior to the injury.
"Gabby used to remind me this is the typical stepmom-stepdaughter relationship and it was just something we have to work through," he said.
“I have never seen or met a person as determined as her and as hard-working. She will never ever give up. She reminds me every day to deny the acceptance of failure," Kelly said.
Giffords and Kelly co-wrote the book Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, released this month. The book reveals details of their marriage and family life, and also reveals that the couple was trying to have a baby prior to the shooting.
Kelly and his daughters brought along a picture with the three of them and Giffords, who is still recovering in Texas, holding a sign reading: "Hi Ellen!"