Westin: Woodruff Being Brought Out of Sedation

Feb 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment

ABC News President David Westin had a dramatic and heartening update Thursday on the condition of “World News Tonight” co-anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered severe head and other injuries in a roadside bomb blast Jan. 29 in Iraq.

“The doctors are slowly bringing him out of sedation and are very pleased with the progress they’ve seen so far, especially in the last few days,” Mr. Westin said in an e-mail to ABC News staffers. “As the doctors have explained to [Mr. Woodruff’s wife] Lee and the family, the process of lowering the sedation is a slow one — both so Bob can continue to heal and also to keep him as comfortable as possible while he deals with the understandable pain associated with his injuries.

“Despite the fact that he continues to be mildly sedated, Bob has been out of bed in a chair and his physical strength continues to impress his entire team. Bob’s responses to Lee and the children are even more heartening — Lee told me that Bob ‘reacts to their voices, returns their smiles and is initiating kisses,'” Mr. Westin’s e-mail said.

“In another sign of Bob’s moving along his path to recovery, the doctors have said that in the next few weeks it is reasonable to expect that he will be able to move to facilities in the New York area, bringing him closer to his family, his home, and the support structure here.”

Mr. Woodruff is being treated at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and has been kept sedated since the explosion to aid his recuperation.

Mr. Westin also reported that Doug Vogt, the cameraman injured along with Mr. Woodruff, has been released from the hospital and was headed with his wife back to their home in France.

“Doug will continue to undergo further treatment in Europe and will be coming back for check-ups in the United States as he continues to recover,” Mr. Westin said.