Background of the photographer
The photos were taken by P.K. Weis of SouthwestPhotoBank.com. He has worked as a photojournalist in the Southwest for about four decades. He worked at the Tucson Citizen for 36 years, including 30 as photo editor, until the paper closed in 2009. Weis has known Congresswoman Giffords for more than a decade, since before she was first elected to the Legislature.
The photos were taken May 17 at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, the day after the launch of Endeavour and the day before she had her cranioplasty.
Statement by the photographer
“Any photographer in the country would have loved the opportunity to take these pictures and I was delighted to be asked. I’ve known Gabby for more than a decade and her staff asked me to do it because she wanted someone who was not a stranger — someone she would be comfortable around. The photos were taken in her room and in an outside area of the hospital.
“In addition to the congresswoman, her mother, one of her staff members and a close friend were there. Doctors and nurses also came in and out.“
It was very inspiring to see how much she had recovered in 4½ months. I was excited to see her and to see her smile. She was glad to see me, was in a good mood, smiling and laughing and seemed to enjoy the experience. I certainly did, too.”