HOUSTON (February 14, 2023)

"TIRR Memorial Hermann will always have a special place in my heart"

Nearly 12 years after she was discharged from TIRR Memorial Hermann, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords joined her former care team and facility leaders for a virtual conversation and film screening of the documentary about her journey toward recovery.

“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down” tells the extraordinary story of her relentless fight to recover following an assassination attempt in 2011, and her new crusade as one of the most effective activists currently in the battle against gun violence.

During the virtual conversation, which preceded the screening, Giffords thanked team members at Memorial Hermann who were vital to her recovery. “Memorial Hermann will always have a special place in my heart,” said Giffords. “Following my neurosurgery at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, I spent months at TIRR Memorial Hermann recovering after I was shot, and I am so grateful for the whole team, especially Dr. Gerard Francisco and Dr. Jacob Joseph – for their expertise, patience, and dedication to my recovery. I am so excited to reunite with everyone and to share ‘Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down’ with them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them, and I’m forever indebted to the entire care team.”

“Gabby Giffords embodies the word perseverance,” said Dr. Gerard Francisco, Chairman and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and Chief Medical Officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann. “There was no stopping Gabby’s recovery, not with TIRR by her side. The fact that she is here today and has turned this tragedy into a fierce advocacy to help so many others shows how aligned she is with our mission. TIRR founder, William A. Spencer, MD, said ‘Man uses the tiniest strengths for the greatest of purposes.’ I believe Gabby exemplifies that statement.” 

Memorial Hermann Health System operates eight TIRR Memorial Hermann facilities across the Greater Houston area, in addition to facilities which are part of the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network. TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital ranks as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and number two in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2022-2023. The rehabilitation hospital’s ranking marks its 31st consecutive year among the magazine’s Best Hospital rankings.