Article in Parade: Coming Back to Life
As the nation roots for Gabrielle Giffords’s recovery, the wife of ABC’s Bob Woodruff talks about the long road back from brain injury By Lee Woodruff
After my husband, Bob, called to tell me about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 bystanders in Tucson on Jan. 8, I stopped and said a prayer. Then I immediately thought about Mark Kelly, Giffords’s husband. In 2006 I was the one who got that phone call out of the blue. While on vacation with our four kids at Disney World, I learned that Bob, an ABC news anchor on assignment in Iraq, had been riding in a vehicle that struck a bomb. Shrapnel was lodged in his brain, and he lay in a coma. Doctors didn’t know if he’d survive, much less function normally.
Today, though, he’s back—back at work and back in my life as a husband and father. Many Americans are hoping that Giffords has a similarly successful recovery. We’re thrilled by every positive report—she watched an hour of TV! she spoke!—and devastated by the setbacks.
Still, she and her family may be in for a long haul. In the world of brain injury, the work is hard, the recovery process painful and painfully slow, and the miracles few and far between. Progress comes in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it increments.