PHOENIX - When Diane Sawyer sits down with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords tonight, you'll hear about the congresswoman's extensive road to recovery.
You might not know that similar treatment is available in the heart of our community.
The Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the country.
ABC15 was invited for a close up look at a rehabilitation room where severely injured patients get their lives back on track.
It can be a long process for the 1.7 million people who suffer from traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries each year.
That's roughly the population of Phoenix.
Most people don't know Phoenix is home to one of the most advanced TBI treatment options in the world.
Dr. Christina Kwasnica is nationally recognized in the field of neuro and physical rehabilitation at Barrow's.
"Rehabilitation is increadibly important because often times, patients with brain and spinal cord injuries have to learn how to walk or move other body parts again," explained Kwasnica.
You may remember the extensive rehabilitation Rep. Giffords went through in Houston.
It's a process that isn't finished, but could be conducted at the Barrow Neurological Institute.
Patients enter a room that looks much like a gym. You'll see treadmills, weights and balance beams.
Many of the machines are modified with harnesses and straps to steady patients who have little or no strength in their legs.
Therapy programs are customized for the individual patient, and some of those patients have been high profile ones.
Rocker Brett Michaels has been treated at Barrow's, as have King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, baseball great Joe Gragiola and Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain.
More brain surgeries are performed at Barrow's than any other hospital in the world according to staff there.
In fact, the facility was perfectly capable of supporting Rep. Giffords had she elected to seek treatment in Phoenix instead of Houston where her husband was undergoing astronaut training.
For more information on the Barrow Neurological Institute, you can check out their website .
Tune in to ABC15 tonight at 9 to see Diane Sawyer's exclusive sit down interview with Rep. Giffords and her husband.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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