After getting injured in a roadside attack near Baghdad on Jan. 29, 2006, ABC newsman
Bob Woodruff remembers seeing his body floating on a cloud below him. He passed out and didn't wake up for 36 days. Once out of his medically induced coma, he saw his wife, Lee, and said through a pained smile, "Honey, where have you been?"
It's been a long journey back for Woodruff, but on Tuesday at 10 pm/ET, he returns to ABC News with an hourlong special, To Iraq and Back, in which he reports on his rehabilitation and how traumatic brain injuries like his are taking a toll on troops in Iraq. A book about his ordeal ( In an Instant, written with his wife) is also hitting bookstores this week.
Meeting with reporters on Monday, Woodruff looked and sounded like the man who was named coanchor of World News Tonight in late 2005. The only noticeable difference is his occasional searching for a word. He's been relearning language skills, and says he's seeing improvement all the time. "Will I get back to 100 percent? Probably unlikely," he says. "But if I hit in the 90s, I'll be doing pretty good." With his rehabilitation now down to one day a week or less, he believes he can even get back to being an anchor - a job he had for just 28 days before the incident.
ABC News president David Westin notes that Woodruff's recovery has exceeded expectations every step of the way, but no matter how well it goes, Woodruff won't be returning to Iraq. "I will not send him," Westin says. "He's more vulnerable then he was before. It would be reckless." - Reporting by Stephen Battaglio