Giffords' husband keeps agonizing vigil by her side

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Tucson (Arizona,US), Jan.12 (ANI): Critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords husband is holding her hand while keeping an exhausting vigil by her side, clearly showing the family's agony over the ordeal.

Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, has been by her side since shortly after she was shot on Saturday, allegedly by 22-year-old Jared Loughner, on Saturday. he picture of him tenderly holding his wife's hand reinforces an image described by their friends of a couple very much in love, ABC News reports.

On Giffords' wedding ring, Kelly inscribed: "You're the closest to heaven that I've ever been"-words from a song by the Goo Goo Dolls that clearly had special meaning for them.She met Mark, and Gabby was so happy. So much in love," said Elaine Richardson, a bridesmaid at Giffords and Kelly's wedding.

They first met in China as part of a U.S. trade mission.

At the time, Giffords, was serving as an Arizona state senator and dating someone else while Kelly was married to another person.

A year later the duo reunited, once again in China.

But this time, fate had intervened.

Both were single, and they found themselves taking long hikes together and bonded over the difficulties of meshing high-powered jobs with marriage and family.

"You can tell how much they love each other, how hard they work to make that relationship work, as they both have many, many responsibilities," said Adam Smith, a friend of the couple.

The couple married in 2007, at an organic produce farm, in a low-key ceremony.

Once married, they faced their toughest challenge yet: a long distance relationship, as he discovered new frontiers as an astronaut with NASA in Houston and she represented the people of Arizona through the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Despite only seeing each other for a few weeks at a time, Giffords and Kelly were in constant communication.

They are said to both carry iPads, iPhones and Blackberries.

For Giffords, the only distance that did worry her was when her husband was in space.

In an interview last year, Giffords said that launch and re-entry are the most difficult parts of her husband's trips to space. (ANI)

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