Spokesman Says Rep. Giffords is Now Speaking

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been speaking for several days after sustaining a shot to the head during an assassination attempt against her last month, her spokesman said Wednesday.

It is unclear what her first words were, but according to spokesman C.J. Karamargin, the Arizona congresswoman asked for toast one morning at breakfast.

He added that Giffords is speaking "more and more," and her recovery is continuing to astonish doctors.

"She's working very hard and it's paying off," he said. "We're elated at this. We always knew Gabby is a fighter and that she's not going to let this thing win. And you know, every day is proof of that."

Giffords has been recovering at TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation hospital in Houston.

Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband and a NASA astronaut, said his wife's appetite is back "even though it's hospital food."

"The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process." he said. "There are encouraging signs every day."

Kelly hopes his wife can make enough progress to attend his next space launch on April 19, which he'd considered passing up after the tragic shooting.

Giffords' injuries are the result of a shooting attack outside a Tuscan, Ariz., grocery story that killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge.

The suspect, Jared Loughner, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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