Giffords' Chief of Staff Happy to Get Her Toast

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Chief of Staff Pia Carusone tells CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric about the congresswoman's progress. From the CBS Evening News, Feb. 9, 2011.

The news about Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to be very good as she recovers from an assassination attempt. She's continuing rehab in Houston, including speech therapy and her spokesperson said Wednesday she's starting to talk again.

At breakfast the other day she was able to ask for toast, a major milestone since she was shot one month ago. Pia Carusone is Giffords' chief of staff.

Katie Couric: Pia, have you heard the congresswoman speak and have you describe that moment for us?

Pia Carusone: Yes, absolutely. I was having breakfast with her a few days ago and she asked me for toast. She had oatmeal and yogurt. It wasn't the first time she had spoken but it was great to see that recovery happen in front of you.

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Couric: What was your reaction when she asked for a simple thing like toast? It must have been a very exciting thing.

Carusone: Yeah, you know, I smiled, and I said, 'We're happy to get you toast.' And the nurse was right near me and she smiled, too, and she called down to the cafeteria and we had some brought up for her.

Couric: As we've been saying many nights on the Evening News, Pia, her recovery has truly been miraculous. What is it like for you to witness this?

Carusone: I mean, it's obviously difficult to watch someone that you love and respect so much going through this, to go through something so difficult, but she's doing so well. It makes every day a little easier for us to see the improvements that she's making and it's just very encouraging.

Couric: Her husband, Mark Kelly, announced last week he would complete his mission as commander of the next space shuttle. Does she realize he's going and doing that?

Carusone: Absolutely. She's very supportive of him, extremely proud of his career, and he's kept her up to date throughout this whole process on his thinking. So she certainly understands it and as you've heard Mark say, he fully expects that she'll be at the launch and we can certainly hope that she's better come April to join us in Florida.

Couric: Well, Pia Carusone, thanks so much for talking with us, and, please give Congresswoman Giffords and her family our very best.

Carusone: I will. Thanks so much, Katie.