Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries in War Time Former ABC co-anchor Bob Woodruff has had an unusually quick recovery from a brain injury that he suffered after being struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Doctors at the National Naval Medical Center are pioneering new treatments for traumatic brain injuries.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries in War Time

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Woodruff stands with troops in Iraq just an hour before an improvised explosive device detonated near him, shattering his skull. Courtesy of the Woodruff Family hide caption

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Courtesy of the Woodruff Family

Woodruff stands with troops in Iraq just an hour before an improvised explosive device detonated near him, shattering his skull.

Courtesy of the Woodruff Family

Two days after Woodruff first woke up in March 2006, two of his children, Cathryn and Mack, flew down to see him. His doctors say that Woodruff's unusually speedy recovery indicates just how much remains unknown about traumatic brain injury. Courtesy of the Woodruff Family hide caption

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Courtesy of the Woodruff Family

Two days after Woodruff first woke up in March 2006, two of his children, Cathryn and Mack, flew down to see him. His doctors say that Woodruff's unusually speedy recovery indicates just how much remains unknown about traumatic brain injury.

Courtesy of the Woodruff Family

Woodruff and his wife, Lee, have co-written a book describing their family's struggles and triumphs in the aftermath of the injury. Random House hide caption

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Random House

Woodruff and his wife, Lee, have co-written a book describing their family's struggles and triumphs in the aftermath of the injury.

Random House

In January 2006, Bob Woodruff, the newly minted co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, was struck by a roadside bomb while aboard an Iraqi personnel carrier.

Woodruff had been sent to Iraq to file on the ground reports of the war in the lead-up to President Bush's State of the Union address.

The force of the explosion shattered Woodruff's skull, and he suffered severe damage to his brain. Woodruff's cameraman, Doug Vogt was also injured in the attack.

Initially, doctors at the National Naval Medical Center thought Woodruff's chances for recovery from traumatic brain injury were slim at best. Yet he defied expectations as his memory and vocabulary gradually returned.

To aid his recovery, Woodruff's wife and kids quizzed him on words and helped with his unusually speedy rehabilitation. Woodruff and his wife, Lee, have co-authored a book describing their family's struggle in the aftermath of the injury, titled In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing.

According to his doctors, Woodruff's unusually quick recovery is proof of how much remains unknown about the treatment and effects of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. In the coming years, many more soldiers and Marines with TBI are expected to enter the medical systems of the military and Veterans Affairs. Often, these injuries are hard to diagnose, and while some facilities have pioneered treatment for TBI, many others do not have as much experience or specialized training.

Bob Woodruff, former co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight; co-author, In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing

Rear Admiral Adam Robinson, Rear Admiral, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy; Commander, National Naval Medical Center; Chief, Navy Medical Corps

Commander Jim Dunne, Commander, U.S. Navy; head of the National Naval Medical Center's Trauma Unit

Maria Mouratidis, head of the Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program at the National Naval Medical Center; trained neuropsychologist

In an Instant
A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
By Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff

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In an Instant
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