TODAY   |  May 16, 2011

Staffer: Rep. Giffords doing ‘really well’

Pia Carusone, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ chief of staff, tells TODAY’s Ann Curry the congresswoman, who was shot in the head while meeting with constituents near Tucson, Ariz., is “doing really well.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we turn now to the final launch of the shuttle "endeavour" where wounded congresswoman gabrielle giffords will watch her husband commander mark kelly lead the mission. the chief of staff joins us from kennedy space center . what are the congresswoman's emotions this morning as she prepares to watch her husband blast off into space?

>> she's really excited to see him go. she's proud of his career. this is a long time coming. we have been anticipating the launch for a while. he was assigned the mission close to two years ago. she's really excited, obviously happy she was able to make it. they had a nice good-bye here yesterday. i think it's a good day for everyone here.

>> does she know about the wristbands we heard about that the astronauts will be wearing that say "peace, love and gabby" and, if so, what's her reaction to that?

>> she does. she's wearing one herself. in fact, the shuttle flight before this one brought a blue wristband up to the space station for mark's brother scott. it's really a supportive thing our friends, family and staff have taken part in. she's excited he's able to wear it. i don't know if he's got it on during launch. it's in his pocket with his other personal belongings.

>> mark kelly said this mission will be a little harder because i want to look out for her. you're watching the dynamic close up. how would you describe it?

>> you know, fortunately she's doing really well. she's gotten to a point that's extremely stable medically. she's progressing well in the rehab program. i think it's tougher for him to leave this time. but he knows she's in good hands with the folks in houston and he'll be back in 16 days . we are excited for the mission. it's an important piece of machinery that nasa is installing on the space station . it's exciting for all of us.

>> have fun today. thanks for