In an Instant
Bob and Lee Woodruff
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Buy *In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing* by Lee Woodruff online

In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
Bob and Lee Woodruff
Random House
304 pages
February 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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This is a love story. One might question this when a journalist has to fight for his life after being wounded while covering the Iraqi war, but not once you read Lee and Bob Woodruffís amazingly poignant story. This is their love story - how their love came to be and sustained them through a year of pain, hope, fear, recovery and dedication.

In alternating time frames between the dreadful moment when Lee is called and told that Bob has been critically injured and how they met and fell in love, Lee tells her account of their love story with passion and feeling; Bob is, as always, the accomplished journalist with his fact-based style of recollection. Both are heroes in this story. Bobís valiant effort to handle his severe injuries mostly to the brain Leeís courageous, steadfast support and love throughout the entire process make up this miraculous story.

Bob, only recently having been named co-anchor of ABC News, was embedded with troops covering the Iraq war while Lee and their four children were at Disneyworld. While that may sound almost callous to many, this is the life a journalist and his family. When a bomb explodes and Bob is literally blown to pieces, not much hope seems to exist that he will survive as Lee is rushed to her husbandís side. Telling how she got the call and what immediately transpired, Lee aptly recounts their story firsthand.

The story goes back to Bobís choice to leave a profitable law profession to pursue his dream of being a journalist. His hard work and passion for covering the news takes him through the rank and file to many amazing places and stories as he works his way up. The story of Lee and Bobís personal life is interspersed with the realities of Bobís day-to-day survival and recovery following the bomb in Iraq.

Bobís five-week coma, swelling of the brain, and many near-deadly complications are told with detail and clarity, so the reader really experiences firsthand, as much as possible, what this family went through. The never-ending waiting to see if Bob will survive is a story of such devotion that you wonder just how someone can go through something like that. You realize that you can never know, as did she, until you are tested, how you would respond in a situation such as this. At one point, after about five weeks, Lee crawls up into bed with Bob to try and hold him despite all the medical contraptions and tubes, and she tells him that he must fight for his life because she and their four children need him. Barely leaving his side, Lee is shocked when a few days later she walks into his room to find him sitting up and asking her where she has been. At that point, the real fight begins for Bob to work hard to return to his life as he knew it. Meanwhile, Lee must juggle the dual roles of parent and caregiver.

This compelling story of love and devotion is told with honesty, humor, and hope. The friendships both Lee and Bob have, the love and family they share, guides one through an often graphic but also witty and very human memoir.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Karen D. Haney, 2008

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