Dr Oz did a segment on the Tragedy in Tucson and he brought on Bob Woodruff, an ABC News Anchor / Reporter, who was hit four years ago by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. 37 minutes after Woodruff’s injury, he was in surgery and was in a medically induced coma for over a month. After he started to recover, he had considerable difficulty finding words. Now, four years later, he is back on TV and seems to be fully recovered. Like Doctor Oz said, the medical advances in the treatment of a Traumatic Brain Injury are truly remarkable.
Dr Oz: Traumatic Brain Injury
Dr Oz asked Lee Woodruff, Bob’s wife, what it is like to sit and wait after you find out that your loved one has had a brain injury. She said that there is no greater pain and it is awful because you do not know what is likely to happen with a brain injury. You have to make big decisions, often all by yourself. Lee Woodruff said that she remembers a doctor passing her a release form to authorize a surgery, and she was thinking in her head – his mom is sitting right over there, please do not make it all my responsibility.
Dr Oz: Bob Woodruff & Congresswoman Giffords
Bob Woodruff said that the explosion went off just 20 feet away and all he remembers is his body floating underneath him as he looked up and saw his cameraman and producer and he asked them if all three of them were alive or not. Next thing he knew, he woke up 36 days later. Lee Woodruff said that even on Day 35 things were not looking good, because he could not respond to commands and she was told to start looking for a home to take care of him.
Dr Oz asked him what was the hardest part about recovery? He said that you feel so lucky to be alive at first, but over time it becomes a huge frustration as things take much longer than you thought. He said that his attitude towards life is much better now as a result of his experiences. Lee Woodruff said that the early weeks of recovery are incredible because she would see a 50% improvement every single day over the previous day. However, she said that it probably took a year until she felt like her family would definitely be ok.
Dr Oz asked them what they would say to the Giffords Family. Bob Woodruff said that he has no proof of this but that he believes having family there, even when the person is not awake or conscious, really helps to speed up the path to recovery. It can even change when and how the person will wake up. When he woke up and had all of his family around him, he already felt much better.
Best of luck to Congresswoman Giffords, her entire family, as well as the other victims. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers!