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.
RT @harrishealth: George V. Masi talks to media about the 20th Trauma Survivors Celebration hosted to recognize patients treated at #BenTau…
Harris Health System@harrishealth
George V. Masi talks to media about the 20th Trauma Survivors Celebration hosted to recognize patients treated at #BenTaubHospital & #LBJHospital trauma centers with partners from @bcmhouston @UTHealth @HoustonFire #TraumaLeader https://t.co/f0jj01yDjr
Page County VA receives 2019 Ford Flex for Veteran transportation https://t.co/Uje88HYVi8 via @KMABroadcasting
David Jaffray, Ph.D., from @UHN to join MD Anderson as Chief Technology and Digital Officer late this summer: https://t.co/2y4TNnS1Oj. #endcancer
“As a parent, I strive to do what I can to protect my children and their friends from ever facing a cancer diagnosis,” says former convenience store owner Sam Susser.Here’s why he’s proud to see Texas raise the age for tobacco sale to 21: https://t.co/FVGuiVJXAH #endcancer
Event gives Veterans 'an opportunity' to teach https://t.co/rLFnvZxmF7 via @AmericanLegion
After more than 47 years of extraordinary service to UTHealth, George M. Stancel, PhD, has announced his retirement. #ThankYouDrStancel for your contributions, your impact, and your commitment to UTHealth. https://t.co/zz7biEVQaC #ManyFacesOfUTHealth https://t.co/m5IwXP2WmZ
The numbers of Americans with health consequences from obesity continues to grow. See how we as a medical school are teaching our students to help prevent and treat this disease. https://t.co/Gl4Um007LB #obesity
@MrJeremyJackson @PasadenaHigh @AthleticsPISD @CathySupak Thanks for sharing
A phase III trial led by our @DQBMD found combining busulfan with melphalan may be effective as conditioning newly diagnosed #multiplemyeloma patients receiving an autologous #stemcelltransplant: https://t.co/pliwgCBYxb @CancerNetwrk #MMSM #endcancer
Today we honor Army Veteran Jason Swindle in remembrance of his service and sacrifice for our country https://t.co/EgIX7LRw5X #VeteranOfTheDay #CarryTheLoad #NoVeteranEverDies
Amar Yousif, MBA, named new VP of Information Technology, Chief Information Officer at @UTHealth: https://t.co/dtNUDXzoei https://t.co/wfbuWKLW3l
Several nurses at @TexasChildrens recently received their Doctor of Nursing Practice. Join us in congratulating them on this incredible achievement! To learn more, visit: https://t.co/2kSDVJ834B #texaschildrens
RT @Rice_BIOE: Rice bioengineer Jeff Tabor (@LabTabor) reflects on accessing nature's treasure trove of biosensors in a new "Nature" blog p…
Dr. Julie Kaplow, chief of psychology and director of the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children's Hospital, discusses the importance of mental health support in public schools:https://t.co/cF2CZMfBdF #texaschildrens