Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In an Instant

Title: In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
Author: Lee and Bob Woodruff
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Pages:288
Date Finished: 6 November 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

After receiving several positive recommendations from friends about this book, I decided to pick up a copy at the library. In 2006 we were living in an apartment without any TV reception, so I had never heard about or seen any of the news coverage about what had happened to Bob Woodruff in Iraq. While reading I realized this had apparently been a big story that I knew nothing about at all.
In January 2006, shortly after being named co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, Bob Woodruff was embedded with a military unit in Iraq when an IED went off near the tank he was riding in. Woodruff suffered a traumatic brain injury and nearly died. In an Instant, tells the story not only of Woodruff's injury and recovery but also chronicles his early career, marriage and family.
I liked the movement in time and perspective, moving in time from Lee and Bob in the hospital after the explosion to the past, parts of the story being told by Bob and others by his wife, Lee. I especially enjoyed reading about their experiences in China during the Tiananmen Square incident. I have vague memories of my family watching news stories about it at the time it occurred and reading the Woodruff's experiences prompted me to learn and read more about what had happened there.
It was interesting to read about the strides the military has made in treating traumatic brain injuries and all that our military doctors and nurses are able to do now that they were unable to do previously. While, there is still a lot that can and should be done for those suffering from these injuries, there have been some major advances in recent years. It is sad that they have had to make these advances out of necessity due to the number of soldiers who are receiving head injuries in Iraq and other areas. I found it somewhat ironic that if Woodruff had suffered the same injuries in the States he probably would not have survived but out in the Iraqi desert, miles from any hospital, the odds were in his favor.
I really did enjoy reading this account and found Lee Woodruff's story even more interesting than her husbands at times. I suppose that is because I can try and imagine myself in a similar role as a wife and mother and wonder how I would react. It was fascinating to read about how Lee dealt and coped with her husband's injuries.
In an Instant was a really interesting read.

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