CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBSMiami) — With a smile on her face and determination in her eye, Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords walked across the stage in Charlotte to thunderous ovation.

Last year, the country was horrifed when Congresswoman Giffords was shot along with several others.

Beating all odds, she survived and is making an incredible recovery. Thursday night she led the Democratic National Convention in the pledge of allegiance.

By her side was South Florida congresswoman and best friend Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

“It was her moment to shine and shine she did,” said Wasserman-Schultz, beaming with a smile.

She said that at the moment they walked out on stage they were no longer congressional leaders and high-powered women, they were friends, sharing a proud moment.

“That moment was filled with anticipation and pride and excitment and when walked out and the crowd just erupted, it was an incredibly special moment,” she said.”

For Juan Franco, watching Giffords walk across the stage was personal.

He was in a motorcycle accident in July on the 836.  He’s in physical therapy now at Memorial Regional. Giffords inspires him. “I see that recovery is possible,” he said.  “I see that even if you’re in a wheel chair, you can recover.  i see as an example.”

An example that with grit, determination and hard work…anything is possible.

And Giffords is staying busy.

Aside from physical therapy, she’s starting a political action committee.  It’s purpose is to bring back civility to politics.


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