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ABC News Says Injured Woodruff Continues to Make Progress

Feb 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

ABC News President David Westin told his staff Thursday that ABC “World News Tonight” co-anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered severe head and other injuries in a roadside bomb blast last month in Iraq, continues “to make progress.”

Mr. Westin included information from Mr. Woodruff’s brother David and family members, who are maintaining a presence at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where the anchor is being treated. David Woodruff said last week that his brother continued to be kept sedated to aid in his recovery, but that the doctors decreased the level of sedation occasionally and were “pleased with how he responds.”

Mr. Westin’s note to the staff included this information from the Woodruff family: “Bob’s amazing team of doctors, nurses and corpsmen continue to be pleased with the progress he makes each day and they are optimistic about his recovery. But the more we learn about Bob’s injuries the more we appreciate just how lucky he is. We need to remind ourselves it’s only been 2½ weeks since he sustained his injuries in Iraq. We live in a world of instant gratification where patience as a virtue is rarely practiced. Our family now has a whole new appreciation for the word and what it truly means to be patient.”

Mr. Westin said that Doug Vogt, the ABC News cameraman who was injured with Mr. Woodruff, “is continuing his outpatient treatment at Bethesda, and all of us remain very hopeful for a full recovery.”

In the meantime, “World News” co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas, who last week announced she is expecting her second child with her husband, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, told The Philadelphia Inquirer this week that the pregnancy was “as unplanned as it gets” and that she revealed it to ABC News only after Mr. Woodruff was injured Jan. 29, less than a month into their assignments as the successors to the late Peter Jennings.

Until ABC News decides to make longer-term decisions about the “World News” anchor lineup, Ms. Vargas has been joined on the newscast by “Good Morning America’s” Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer, the latter of whom sat next to Ms. Vargas at the anchor desk for the first time Wednesday night.