In An Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
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In An Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing

4.3 32
by Bob Woodruff, Lee Woodruff
     
 

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The Woodruffs seemingly had everything in January 2006: a successful marriage, four children, and thriving careers. Bob had recently been named coanchor of ABC's World News Tonight, succeeding the legendary Peter Jennings, and Lee was a public relations executive. Then, in an instant, their lives were irrevocably altered when Bob, embedded with the military in Iraq, suffered a catastrophic head injury when he and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were both hit by an improvised explosive device. In alternating segments, the Woodruffs tell the story of their courtship and early married life and how Bob moved from a successful career as a lawyer with a six-figure income to follow his dream of becoming a journalist. With Lee's support, Bob embarked on a career that frequently took him overseas, leaving Lee to care for their children and home while he chased the news in exotic locales. This powerful dual memoir charts the love and courage the authors share; it is an inspiring story and one that reminds us that there are countless families facing similar tragedies. The narration by both Bob and Lee enhances the listening experience and brings an added poignancy to the events they describe. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Gloria Maxwell

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594132407
Publisher:
Large Print Distribution
Publication date:
02/12/2008
Series:
Thorndike Paperback Bestsellers Series
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Pages:
499
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

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In an Instant 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What would it be like to have one's brain blown open and body sheared by an IED to the point where everything shifts physically, mentally and emotionally? How does one and one's family deal with the aftermath with all the possible implications of possible infection, complications, recovery and/or death? In An Instant is that story, described by Bob as a reworking of the brain, '...like seeing the top of a mountain from a path, but without the ability to find the way up...by taking one step at a time, little by little, I realize I can still get there...' Lee and Bob's story is starkly told from two perspectives not only of voice but also interweaving the past with the present. Their story begins with the devastating event that so dramatically changed their lives, the explosion of that IED on an Iraqi road where Bob was working as an embedded journalist/anchor for ABC News. Lee is a respected public relations executive and freelance editor whose career has evolved with the multiple changes of Bob's career from high-paid lawyer to executive anchor man for a top notch news service. Bob and Lee do a superb job of carrying the reader through history as Bob's teaching law stint in China allows him to enter the world of journalism as a 'fixer' during the Tiananmen Square crisis and numerous other smaller and larger historical, pivotal events including 911, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and more. They are skilled writers who know how to convey the excitement, peril and significance of these events. At the same time, In An Instant is the story of the 'Landstuhl survivors,' a group of family members trying to deal with the multiple demands of a challenging career and now of a devastating crisis enough to break the toughest spirits. Their story is told with honesty, intelligence and a specificity that renders the reader humbled and highly respectful of this daunting experience that has reshaped not only the Woodruff family but continues to affect numerous other families of soldiers and journalists serving in Iraq. The best nonfiction work this reviewer has read in a very long time! Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on March 5, 2008
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book, I went through an intense emotional ride. There was intense gripping moments,heart-tugging,rollercoaster ride emotiomal pain, tender motivating moments! I loved every minute! Through all of their trials, Bob & Lee Woodruff showed Courage in the face of a life and death situation, solid dedication to the vows they made as Husband & Wife, and all the while putting every ounce of effort into the role and blessing of parenthood! I have been a fan of Journalism & Biographies for a long time, and IN AN INSTANT is by far one of the best books you'll EVER read!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very moving and true-to-life. I related to the powerful emotions of sadness, fear as well as love and gratitude, which I felt at my teenage son's beside as he was recovering from a TBI. The book reminds me of how important love is in the healing process. My son likes to point out that the accident happened to him and not to me. The book clearly demonstrates that accidents happen to a whole family and community.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Really enjoyed the book. My husband had a stroke a year ago and your story followed a lot of the same steps. Thank you for sharing.
CommentQueen More than 1 year ago
While I love the love story of Bob and Lee and I am so happy for his success and progress in dealing with the TBI, I believe that this book is a fairy tale. My husband also has a TBI. We could not afford the best hospitals and the best doctors; as most people cannot. I think this book gives people a sense that everyone who has a TBI will fully recover which is not the case. Bob's recovery was miraculous. He came back to his wife and children. So many TBI survivors do not. Even Bob is not back to work at his full capacity as they had hoped for in the book and its been several years. I think what happened is this book was written too soon after his accident. Now I think it may be a totally different story. All Traumatic Brain Injuries are different. It depends on what type of injury, what part of the brain is damaged and how quickly the person gets the correct medical help. I thank Bob and Lee for writing this book because it brought a lot of attentention to the world of traumatic brain injury that was not there before the book. For that I am very grateful. But I'd like an honest look into their lives right now. I think we'd get a better insight to the real life of a TBI survivor.
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Elthea Danley More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was extremely impressed with this book. First off Lee and Bob are very detailed in sharing the lives, their stories, as well as pictures of their lives. I had a hard time putting it down. Some of the way they state things are so poignant and spot on in their descriptions that I was so amazed. The only thing I did not like was the back and forth of the story. If I did not look at the date, I had no idea where in their story I was at. I think it would have been best to have the diary like passages from the beginning to end so that they had flow. A truly beautiful story. I am also happy that they mention the soldiers with injuries who were suffering. Would defintely recommend.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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 Woodruff¿s amazingly poignant story. This is their love story-the story of Bob and Lee, and how their love came to be and sustained them through a year of pain, hope, fear, recovery, and dedication. Told in alternating time frames from the dreadful moment when Lee is called and told that Bob has been critically injured to how they met and fell in love. Lee tells her account of their love story with passion and feeling, while Bob is as always the accomplished journalist with his fact based style of recollection. Both Lee and Bob are heroes in this story. Bob¿s valiant effort to handle his severe injuries mostly to the brain, and Lee¿s courageous, steadfast support and love throughout the entire process make up this amazingly miraculous story. Bob, only recently having been named co-anchor of ABC News, was in Iraq imbedded with troops covering the Iraqi war while Lee and their four children were at Disney World. 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 husband¿s side. Telling about how she got the call and what immediately transpired, Lee aptly recounts their story first hand and truly earns the title of In an Instant: A Family¿s Journey of Love and Healing because that is what happened to this family in just one minute. The part of the story of Lee and Bob¿s personal life is interspersed with the realities of Bob¿s day-to-day survival and recovery following the bomb in Iraq. Bob¿s 5 week coma, swelling of the brain, and many near death complications are told with detail and clarity so that the reader really experiences, as much as possible, first hand what this family went through. The never ending waiting to see if Bob will survive is a story of such devotion that in reality, you wonder just how someone can go through something like that. Lee tells this story in a way that makes 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, with all his 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 and he is sitting up and asking her where she has been?! It is at that point that the real fight begins for Bob to work hard to return to his life as he knew it. Meanwhile, Lee must juggle duel 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 novel. Get the book In An Instant and you will find it won¿t take much longer than that to be hooked and not want to put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was saddened to hear of what happened to Bob. I was excited to hear about the book that was coming out. I am not an avid reader, but was very interested in reading 'In An Instant.' I, like many of the other readers, went on the emotional ride with Bob and Lee. The intense emotions and rollercoasters they have been on is just amazing. It really showed me how strong their family values are and how strong a marriage can be. I took this book with me and read every chance I got. I would be sitting in the bleachers at my son's wrestling practice with tears rolling down my cheeks. The other day I found myself with a big grin on my face when I saw Bob on air. Finally back to one of his many true loves. I loved the book and would recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This seemed as if this book was written only as a money maker, since Mr Woodruff will probably not bring in the salary in which this family is accustomed to. In An Instant does not deflect the horrific damage Bob Woodruff and others wounded in war endured, but only tells a slow story of he and his wife's meeting and somewhat ordinary married life told primarily by his wife. This book is a disservice to all of the wounded survivors of war, and those family members of those that did not survive as it only tells of a personal everyday love story when the title indicates otherwise. A VERY DISAPPOINTING READ!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a loyal ABC News viewer, I was horrified to learn of Bob Woodruff's accident, and like many, prayed he and his family would survive. This book is an honest, touching insight into not only the faith, love and fortitude it takes to overcome a terrible tragedy, but also shares a look at what a real, solid, loving marriage/relationship is all about. Getting thru a crisis such as the Woodruffs have does involve feelings that run the gamet from love, gratitude, anger, fear -- kudos to them both for being so open and honest in sharing their story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bob and Lee Woodruff have done an outstanding service to publish this book and acknowledge that they were very fortunate to have the medical treatment Bob needed to recover from his TBI. Through this book they are helping veterans get the attention and help they need to recover from their own TBIs. I recommend this book to anyone who lives with a TBI person or with anyone who has had a stroke. The healing process is remarkably the same, and there's hope for full recovery in both.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got the book out of the library and put it aside, thinking it would be boring, yet another story that we know all about. I then picked it up, started to read it, and couldn't put it down! It is the most amazing story, and it's all true! It is very well-written and very inspiring and quite a love story, without being too mushy. I like that Lee is a real person, with real feelings, and she didn't pull any punches in her writing her feelings - yes, there was 'woe is me', and anger, but who wouldn't have those kind of feelings when your whole life and that of your family turn completely upside down. Lee and Bob show their true love for each other and their family and the amazing fact that they stayed together through all of the adversity that Bob went through. More power to them! Everyone should read this book - there's no holding back on anything written in this book - it will make you cry and laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't put it down. The truthfulness with which Bob and Lee told the story was amazing. Their honesty with their feelings gave insight into how people in this situation think. It showed how Lee at sometimes felt she couldn't go on. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to eveyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I enjoyed this book very much, there were a few things that disappointed me. Like mentioned before, I was hoping to hear that some how, faith in God helped the family through. No mention of that. I would have liked to hear more about Bob and how his recovery was. To me, Lee sometimes came across as selfish. I don't want to sound rude, I know this was a life changing event for her but she did come across as a weeee bit 'what about me-ish'. I really did like their writing style, it was nice to read both sides of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lee and Bob Woodruff write a truly engaging chronicle of their horrendous experiences following Bob's tragic injury last year. Their descriptions of their courtship and early marital experiences allow the reader to know and care for these fine individuals. Always honest, highly recommended.