Woodruff’s Brother Tells ‘GMA’ Anchor Is Walking, Talking

Mar 7, 2006  •  Post A Comment

ABC “World News Tonight” co-anchor Bob Woodruff has made “a lot of great leaps forward,” his brother David Woodruff said in an interview Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

David Woodruff said his brother is “starting to talk. He’s speaking with his family, with his doctors. He’s been up and walking. He talked to his daughter Cathryn on the phone just yesterday.”

Mr. Woodruff told “GMA” co-anchor Diane Sawyer that his brother is still “on very heavy pain medication. He’s not talking up a blue streak. He’s not sitting there having long conversations with anybody. A couple sentences here, a few words there. But the great news about that is he’s communicating with everybody around him. He recognizes people. He talks about things. It’s all over the board, but he’s definitely doing so much better.”

Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were injured in late January when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

David Woodruff said his brother also has spoken in Chinese and German, two of the languages he speaks, “which is a great, great thing to see.”

In an internal e-mail, ABC News President David Westin said Mr. Woodruff is “approaching the point where he will be leaving Bethesda Medical Center, and they are working hard at the moment to make sure they have the right facility to continue his recovery. Once again, it’s important for all of us to bear in mind that this will be a long process. We’re not close to the end yet. But as he has throughout, Bob is exceeding expectations and giving us real reason for optimism.”

Mr. Westin said that Mr. Vogt “is back with his family in France and recovering well. He will continue to undergo treatment there and come back for occasional checkups.”

Bob Woodruff has not lost his sense of humor, according to his brother, who told Ms. Sawyer, “Even in his heavy sedation, [I was] talking to him all the time, trying to reassure him that he was safe and things were good. And I just looked down to him at one point and said, ‘You know, Bob, I hate to tell you but you still have a face for TV,’ and he smiled. And that was the first reaction I got out of him, and it was great.”