Her husband went from telling the evening news to being the news, and Lee Woodruff took on a role no one could have predicted. When ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff was injured by a roadside bomb while reporting in Iraq, Lee immediately took on the role of a lifetime caretaker to a loved one with a traumatic brain injury.
With four children waiting for their dad to come home, Lee was determined to walk out of those hospital doors with her husband, but there was a long road to that day.
Woodruff was invited to Texas Children’s Hospital by Physician-in-Chief Mark W. Kline, M.D., who asked her to speak at the Department of Pediatrics grand rounds expressing her patient perspective.
“You probably don’t hear this from us as patient families enough, but thank you,” Woodruff said to the group. “As you do your job, I hope you remember that families heal together, so include them in the equation.”
Woodruff asked the auditorium full of physicians to remember to care for the entire family. She recalled a turning point during her husband’s hospital stay when someone asked how she was doing. A moment she won’t forget, patient-and-family-centered care at its core.
For Woodruff, whose husband endured a difficult path to recovery, there is one message she finds most important. While being sensitive to not giving false promises, she asked providers to think before the difficult discussions.
“Just think, ‘How can we have this conversation differently?'” Woodruff said. “‘How can you leave room for hope?'”
For Woodruff and her family, it was the nurses who provided that hope by sharing stories of success and survival of other patients who had brain injuries similar to that of her husband. Woodruff held on to that hope and eventually did see her husband wake up, regain his strength and recover from his brain injury. She said those few months in the hospital changed her perspective and left her forever grateful for the work of those dedicated to healing the sick.
Bob Woodruff did eventually walk out of that hospital room with his wife and continues to report at ABC News. Now a CBS News contributor and New York Times best-selling author, Lee has partnered with her husband to use their experiences in inspiring groups like the physicians at Texas Children’s and to help wounded veterans.
Good luck Houston Dash on tomorrow’s Opening Day! #DashOn #LeadingMedicine
Good luck @HoustonDash on tomorrow’s Opening Day! #DashOn #LeadingMedicine https://t.co/XMu3UQ1C73
TAMU Health Sciences@TAMHSC
#3DPrinting #technology may revolutionize the #pharmaceutical industry in the very near-future: https://t.co/i4Op8Eevce #TAMHSC
Expanding Traumatic Brain Injury treatment options for Veterans https://t.co/43peGDiznA via @VeteransHealth on #VAntagePoint
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
Mom’s advice on cancer during pregnancy: “Keep fighting, and don’t ever give up.“ #CancerMoonShot #endcancer https://t.co/vhxqcjALFI https://t.co/1y51kCCy2l
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is @USArmy Veteran Daniel J. Kerrigan. https://t.co/hojAQtCA6n
U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteransAffairs
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Daniel J. Kerrigan. Daniel served during Operation Enduring Freedom during 2004-2005. While living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Daniel desired to serve his country in the United States Army. After initial trouble passing the military’s standard hearing test, Daniel enlisted in the Army on Oct. 25, 1990, as the military occupation specialty of 11X at 27-years-old. Daniel excelled in boot camp and infantry school. In July of 2004, Daniel deployed to the Kandahar province, Afghanistan, to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom. Attached to Charlie Company of the 25th Infantry division, he and his partner, Major Robert Doshee, were tasked to mentor and train an Afghani unit and their leaders. During his combat deployment in Afghanistan, he was awarded the Bronze Star with valor for saving the life of his friend, Steve DeYoung. Along with the Bronze Star, Daniel also received the Afghanistan Campaign medal and a Purple Heart. Daniel left active duty in 2007. Thank you for your service, Daniel!
RT @UTPhysicians: https://t.co/3NsWuRAHDF
RT @MDA_UTHGrad: Volunteers with Faithful Paws brought five therapy animals (4 dogs & a cat) to visit with Graduate School students in the…
RT @UTPhysicians: Thank you to everyone who came out today to celebrate the grand opening of UT Physicians - Jensen! https://t.co/tbbWOrPmtM
Hundreds of volunteers helping to clean up Chalmette @VANatCemeteries https://t.co/zudKD1DYBu via @WGNOtv
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
Survivor of multiple cancers @LainieMSchultz has advice for newly diagnosed patients: ”You’ll get through it.“ #endcancer https://t.co/rKYAmH20nj
We've all nicked ourselves shaving, but why do certain times cause you to bleed more than others? Dr. Iberia Sosa explains: https://t.co/vgmnux8Ofa
Baylor College of MedicineBaylorCollegeOfMedicine
Missed Match Day last week? Check out our recap. #Match2018 #MatchBCM
4.3, 6-8 p.m.: @MethodistHosp Willowbrook Hospital free informative session about surgical options for the next step toward achieving your weight loss goals https://t.co/TdgYrFuxGN https://t.co/vAAuaEVAHZ