Former astronaut captain Mark Kelly speaks at traumatic brain injury conference in Carlsbad

Kelly's wife Gabrielle Giffords shot in 2011

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Former astronaut captain Mark Kelly spoke during a traumatic brain injury conference in Carlsbad on Saturday.

The subject of brain injury is something Kelly knows a lot about. His wife, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot along with several others after a gunman opened fire outside a Tucson grocery store in 2011. She almost died but has since made a recovery that some call miraculous.      

Kelly spoke about those dark days and also told the crowd – which was made up of mainly doctors – how he managed to become the astronaut that has traveled to the International Space Station more than anyone else.

He said when he started as a Navy pilot, he was not very good. Then, he listed the things he did to get where he is today.

"I'm a prime example of somebody who was able to overcome a lack of aptitude with practice, persistence and the drive to never, ever give up," Kelly said.

Kelly went on to urge the doctors and scientists gathered to use that same kind of dedication as they pursue the emerging science of brain rehabilitation.

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