Wounded Giffords Staffer Returns to Work

One of those wounded in the shooting in Tucson last week, Pam Simon, 63, was recently released from the hospital. Simon does community outreach for Congresswoman Giffords.

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric spoke with Simon about the shooting. She says her surgeon told her she is lucky to be alive.

Pam Simon: I was shot in the chest. The bullet is still in me - my upper hip. It travelled all that distance internally, and didn't seem to hit anything major.

Katie Couric: Will they try to remove the bullet at some point?

Simon: Only if it causes problems down the line. It will forever be an internal souvenir of a really horrendous day.

Couric: Tell me what you remember Pam, from that day.

Simon: It started out as a typical Saturday doing "Congress on your Corner." Congresswoman Giffords had spoken to the first person in line. I had chatted with the next couple in the line. They said they would appreciate a photograph with the congresswoman. We were getting ready to say please turn around and look at us so we can get a picture, and the gunman appeared between myself and congresswoman.

Complete Coverage: Tragedy in Tucson

Couric: So this young man seemed to come out of nowhere. What did he start doing as soon as you noticed him? What did you witness?

Simon: He was shooting almost instantaneously. I did see the gun. I did see him shoot the congresswoman. Then, I think I was probably one of the next people hit because I saw very little after that.

(Scroll down to watch the full interview.)

Couric: I know you had a reunion with your Good Samaritan - a man you just met today. He stayed with you until an ambulance arrived. Tell us how he came to your aid and what he did.

Simon: This hand came on my shoulder and started gently patting me, and saying "You are going to be ok. The ambulances are coming. I will not leave you."

Then he followed the ambulance and found my husband and explain what happened.

Couric: Who is he, where did he come from?

Simon: He'd just been shopping in the supermarket that morning.

Couric: I know you're a former teacher. You actually taught at Jared Loughner's middle school and his high school although you never knew him. There's been a lot of conversation about how students like Jared Loughner can slip through the cracks and I know this is something you really want to focus on now.

Simon: I also was very honored to have a visit from the President and the First Lady in the hospital room. And we spent a few minutes talking about something that every teacher knows. That very early on you see the kids that are separated from other kids and clearly are showing social behavior problems and mental health problems. We need to do a better job as a nation of identifying these kids and getting them help.

I have no malice towards this young man at all, I only have sadness that we as a society were not able to help him.

Couric: I know before you left the hospital you had an opportunity to visit Congresswoman Giffords? How did she seem to be doing?

Simon: Her husband Mark came over and got me. When we arrived in the room, sat next to her, said very loudly, "Pam is here."

She squeezed my hand. She is a fighter. I have a lot of confidence she will be in back in the saddle.

Couric: You spoke with the rest of the congresswoman's staff today. You told them some very movig things about what they had all experienced in the last week.

Simon: I happen to be a staff member that was shot. But all of the staff members that were there experienced an incredible trauma - in some ways perhaps worse than mine because they saw everything that what went on. I described ourselves as family - and indeed we are. We have a lot of healing to do.