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

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In one of the most anticipated books of the year, Lee Woodruff, along with her husband, Bob Woodruff, share their never-before-told story of romance, resilience, and survival following the tragedy that transformed their lives and gripped a nation.

In January 2006, the Woodruffs seemed to have it all–a happy marriage and four beautiful children. Lee was a public relations executive and Bob had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. Then, while Bob was embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. He and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were hit, and Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him.

In an Instant is the frank and compelling account of how Bob and Lee’s lives came together, were blown apart, and then were miraculously put together again–and how they persevered, with grit but also with humor, through intense trauma and fear. Here are Lee’s heartfelt memories of their courtship, their travels as Bob left a law practice behind and pursued his news career and Lee her freelance business, the glorious births of her children and the challenges of motherhood.

Bob in turn recalls the moment he caught the journalism “bug” while covering Tiananmen Square for CBS News, his love of overseas assignments and his guilt about long separations from his family, and his pride at attaining the brass ring of television news–being chosen to fill the seat of the late Peter Jennings.

And, for the first time, the Woodruffs reveal the agonizing details of Bob’s terrible injuries and his remarkable recovery. We learn that Bob’s return home was not an end to the journey but the first step into a future they have learned not to fear but to be grateful for.

In an Instant is much more than the dual memoir of love and courage. It is an important, wise, and inspiring guide to coping with tragedy–and an extraordinary drama of marriage, family, war, and nation.

A percentage of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • One of the best books I've ever read!
    What a wonderful & informative book. I really enjoyed all of the background information. It was a very touching love story. Having gone through 3 brain surgeries myself and my daughter's brain surgery also, gave me a fraction of knowledge on the recovering brain, but the book certainly gives an abundance of information. I've always thought Bob was absolutely fantastic, but I really enjoyed Lee's side of the story. Bravo and Good bless you both Bob & Lee!!!...more info
  • Heartwarming Story
    This is one of the best books based on a true story that I have read in a long time. The Woodruffs do a great job of intertwining their thoughts and ideas to help the reader truly understand the pain and love they share. There is a good mix between the historical content and the personal. As I read this book, I really began to admire the type of relationship that the Woodruffs have and how it was able to endure some strenuous times. This book is an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in journalism as it explains the difficulty of the journey. It is also a great choice for anyone in a serious relationship who wants to see what it takes to make a marriage and a family work through the hard times. ...more info
  • Both Sides!
    Very insightful and well written. Fantastic to hear both sides of the story and be able to share the feelings of what is happening to so many of our soldiers. Bob was extremely lucky and maybe this was meant to happen so someone could speak of those boys that may never get the chance to talk period....more info
  • In An Instant
    This book is most profound. I have admired Bob Woodruff for years and he and his wife have written a book, surely to teach us what real love and family is all about, especially under most difficult circumstances of healing....more info
  • Good read for most
    An excellent book. It was informative and engrossing,but a little syrupy for my taste. It was really amazing that this man lived and has recovered as far as he has. This account lets us in on the spectacular and wonderful work that the medical field is capable of doing. It also lets us in on the trials and tribulations of what so many army wives are going through,or have gone through. It is well worth reading.particularly in our present state of strife....more info
  • Great Read
    I just took this book while on vacation in St.John 2 weeks ago. I read it in 3 days. It really gives insight what a marriage should be, through all the good and bad. Inner strength and the will to live on both their parts. I admire Bob and Lee. God Bless them both....more info
  • very impressed
    I was caught from the beginning and impressed with the love and care of those surrounding Bob Woodruff.. An example of love in practice....more info
  • Very Moving Story
    I was always a fan of Bob Woodruff. I thank him and his family for sharing their story. ...more info
  • Excellent reminder to live every day
    After reading this excellent book, I will be more aware to be thankful for each day with those we love. Our loved ones can be gone in an instant. Part of Bob is gone forever and gone for his children and wife-the idea that nothing bad will happen to me.

    I will be interested in learning how Bob progresses in his healing. He is only beginning his recovery.

    Unlike some other reviewers I think it is important to learn Bob's story and for him to tell us next the stories of those less famous. We are reminded of what war is really like and the agony of one man and his family....more info
  • Excellent Book, Very Insightful
    I purchased this book for my mother for a Mother's Day present and then read it myself. My father is quadriplegic and my mother and I both thought there was more than one instance in this book where she shared our thoughts word for word. A powerful and fascinating read. ...more info
  • Perfect tag team approach
    For anyone who has faced a family tragedy, this book is a must read. It is a testimony to how a community of friends and family pull together to overcome what appeared to be the impossible. Bob's miraculous recovery and the way in which Lee is able to integrate his personal story into her own is both revealing of two different personalities and at the same time showing the strength of their bond. ...more info
  • Product Good, International shipping terrible
    The book was for a friend in South Africa. However the method, time span and eventual result of shipping was not acceptable.
    I paid for expidited shipping and it still took over two months for the original to arrive. In the meantine Amazon re-shipped another and at first charged me, then after calling customer care they removed the second charge.
    It would have been quicker to ship the item to my US residence (3 days) and then ship it out USPS priority Airmail which would have arrived not later than 7 days later in South Africa.(and a whole lot cheaper)...more info
  • How One Minute Can Change Lives!
    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.
    In the above-mentioned alternating writing style, the story goes back to Bob's leaving a profitable law profession to pursue his dream of being a journalist. Bob's hard work and passion for covering the news takes him through the rank and file in many amazing places and stories as he works his way up in his journalism career. 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!
    Submitted by Karen Haney: Originally published Curled Up With a Good Book ( info
  • In An Instant, story of brain trauma injury
    I was moved to buy two copies of this extraordinary book. Lee Woodruff's description of what the family members of a brain injured go through is right to the point and I'm sure the book could have included many more examples of the horrors the families suffer. Bob Woodruff's part of the book gives an interesting picture of a television reporter's life as well as a different outlook on War. He writes of his injury and some of what he went through in his recovery which is ongoing. These two people are working hard on their lives , their children's lives and Bob's career.
    This is my current must read suggestion to everyone....more info
  • Lee Woodruff is unbelievable
    This story is the most unbelievable love story I have ever read. With such raw emotion, Lee Woodruff takes us through what it's like to experience and live through such a horrific tragedy. She is probably the strongest woman I have ever read about and she is truly one I admire greatly. The love they have for one another is amazing. I don't think there are very many couples who can say they love each other this deeply, this strongly after suffering through so much. It is painful to read at times and I cried my way to the first tears of grief for the family but finally tears of joy for Bob, Lee, their children and everyone who helped them make it through to their "happy ending". Thank you Lee for being such an inspiration for all wives and mothers....more info
  • In An Instant
    What an awesome book. Having experienced two head injuries within our family in one year, this book gives such a detailed and wonderful account of Bob Woodruff's journey to heal. It also gives you a true sense of what life becomes for a family that now takes on the task of helping their loved one to heal. This will open peoples eyes to what is involved in a head injury and hopefully allow people to reach out and help those they know who are left to face this very long and hard journey. ...more info
  • Wonderful Book
    Having been through a similar experience with my husband years ago, this book brought back many memories. What a wonderful and inspiring book. A lot of life's lessons are in here. ...more info
  • Read this Book!
    This is a sensitive book by Lee Woodruff, wife of ABC anchor Bob Woodruff, about the life changing events that come to many lives "in an instant" Remarkable read about the amazing comeback of not only Bob, but an entire family. If you haven't read it- get it now....more info
  • lemons into lemonade
    In the words of Winston Churchill- "Never give up. Never,never give up. Never,never, never give up." A winning spirit for everone to be inspired by....more info
  • Not all severely brain injuried patients make such a good recovery. This book does offer hope.
    I purchased this book simply for the medical perspective on one of the few positive recoveries from severe brain injury. I would have preferred even more detail about the time he was in coma and more about what different limitations he has. Still, I recognize that the authors, Lee and Bob Woodruff, wrote a story about the human side of this tragedy. There is much gratitude from them towards the medical community who assisted in Bob's care, and details about the trials they faced and overcame.

    The book is written in an open style with a fair amount of disclosure about their private family life and their friends, including David Bloom's death, an NBC correspondent who died a few years ago in Iraq. They have an incredible marriage and reading something about two people who are so much in love and present for one another is inspiring, especially since these kind of marriages are few and far between.

    The only thing I didn't like was the timeline and the way the story was laid out. It wasn't that it was hard to follow or confusing, it just didn't flow too well. Not because it had two different perspectives, either. The chronology of it and the other important details and tragedies and joys of their life together are chronicled here, and I found myself skipping around, mostly wanting to read about the acute phase of the injury and recovery. That being said, it seems almost wrong to criticize too much about the writing style. Lee and Bob Woodruff apparently are writing this to share their story but also to provide some of their (if not all?) profits to the care of others with TBI (traumatic brain injury) who are not as fortunate financially or for other reasons to receive the quality standard of care that Bob did. This is an honorable effort.

    Recommended...more info
  • In sickness & health....when tragedy tests marriage vows & family
    An amazing book written by Lee Woodruff, wife of Bob Woodruff, ABC News Anchor tells the tale of how they met and married happily ever after and then had their lives blown apart and how they pieced them back together step by step. In an instant the terror of war hit home when Woodruff suffered a life-threatening head and brain injury in Iraq while covering the war. Actually the book includes sections written by both Lee and Bob. What makes this book so different is how frank and open Lee and Bob are about their family, the challenges of being apart, how work intervenes with family life and how the kids reacted to the trauma too. Lee's reports point out the value of a large extended network of friends and family to support you through life's ups and downs. They also show that inner strength is most obvious when a test like this happens. It is as they say in the beginning one book with two voices. And it is a family's journey of love and healing. Lee kids (and it is her sense of humor that is so valuable not only to her and her friends and husband and family but to us in reading the book that inspire us to go on when our lives get tough too. Anyway she says, "the two persectives are not so much he said/she said as Mars & Venus(From John Gray's famous books). Bob was injured by a roadside bom that struck his vehicale near Taj, Iraq. Lee is by profession a public relations exec and freelance writer and she writes with ease and poignancy that makes this tale so memorable. It's an inspiring guide to anyone coping with tragedy or still dealing with a past tragedy. What a fabulous drama of family, war, relationship and world!...more info
  • Overcoming obstacles
    This book was such a great story about dealing with such a horrible tragedy. This was love, sadness, frustration and happiness.. I would highly reccommend...more info
  • In An Instant
    This book is wonderful. Very well written. Cleverly telling the story from 2 different perspectives. Inspiring. Good pictures also. ...more info
  • Wonderful Read
    This book sparkes all of your emotions. Really puts you in the shoes of the Woodruff Family.Thank you to Bob and Lee for sharing!...more info
  • A Brutally Honest Look Into A Public Figure's Joys and Trials
    Having been tossed into an experience of a spouse of 30 years having a critically serious brain surgery, this book rung so true to the joys, deep depression, and aganizing experience of TBI. While my experience had nothing to do with a public figure as large as Bob Woodruff nor a war injury, the end result of a TBI aptly descriped the hell that the injured, as well as the spouse/caretaker walks not just immediately, but for the long haul. The caretaker, in this case, Lee Woodruff was brutally honest about the emotions and the sheer exhaustion that the caretaker undergoes. I read this book in less than two days. It also shone light on the truth of miracles of the human brain to "rewire" itself. I applauded both Bob Woodruff and Lee Woodruff for their unending honesty in dealing with the topic of TBI....more info
  • What is brain trauma like?
    Each war has its own set of unique wounds that define the war and its aftermath. The Iraq war has advanced the care of wounded soldiers to the point where many of them are kept alive when in earlier eras they would have died. Each war's evolving technology also leads to new kinds of injuries. In the Iraq war we are learning to cope with brain injuries and trauma. Just this past week, the defense department estimated that there will be 360,000 soldiers who come back from this war with some level of brain trauma.

    In an Instant is a book that describes what the recovery from such injury is like. It pulls no punches and does not attempt to sugarcoat the facts of these terrifying injuries and their aftermaths, and by approaching it this way, it allows all of us to understand better what is happening to those soldiers who have also suffered this injury.

    The book is about the injuries suffered by Bob Woodruff - an ABC news reporter who was injured in Iraq in early 2006 and covers the treatments he received throughout the next year. It is mostly written by Lee Woodward who is Bob's wife and contains a healthy chunk of biographical information on both her and Bob's life. This helps personalize the main story and allows us to feel more of her own pains as she goes through this most difficult period. She liberally sprinkles the story with other episodes in their married life - the joys and agonies of kid bearing; her struggle with a fibroid mass; finding out that one of her daughters is partially deaf; and more. In other words, a normal life full of ups and downs.

    Bob's career projection is also interesting: He meets Lee when he is a successful lawyer in San Francisco. However, he is a narcissistec adventure seeker and is not satisfied with a staid career. So, immediately after his marriage the two of them head off to China to teach in a small university in Beijing where he is drawn like a moth to the fire to the happenings in Tiananmen square. He gets involved with a news crew there during the unrest and is actually expelled from China for fomenting revolution.

    Back in the United States, he understands that his nature is better served as a glamor seeking news reporter and he enters journalism school, but also applies for work in small stations. He is then given a choice between accepting a job that pays 10% of what he was earning as a lawyer or going to school. Of course, he accepts the job and starts his family on a journey where he moves them every 12 to 24 months from station to station around the country and the world. Somehow, he reaches the apex of that career in December of 2005 when he is named as a co-anchor to replace Peter Jennings on ABC News. The very next month he is in Iraq, riding in an APC, when an IED blows it up.

    From this point on, we read mostly about the recovery and what it takes to bring a wounded person back. This is a gripping account and tells us the gritty reality of it. Throughout the book we learn of the statistics and the progress that each wounded soldier must make and how limiting and life-changing such injuries can be. It is clear that Bob Woodruff is getting the best possible care, and his support structure is also incredibly strong and that helps lead him to a strong recovery. We can glimpse that others are not as lucky: Either they are wounded more severly, or they do not get the same kind of support to help them heal. It is clear, that even after a year, Bob Woodruff is not back to the same state he was in before the injury - even today, he is not back yet as a quick search on the internet reveals. So, the point is made that these kinds of injuries can last a life time and will create a generation of walking wounded that the whole country will be dealing with.

    Overall though, this is a powerful and gripping story and one that I am glad was written. If you know someone in your life who was affected by such an injury, it will help you understand what they are dealing with and how they might be different from before - and that is a powerful reason for reading this book.
    ...more info
  • Interesting book
    Interesting book - I read it because I was curious what had happened to Bob Woodruff after his injury, because the of the lack of information regarding his condition. It is interesting to me that insiders in the media can control what information gets out about them personally; however others are not so fortunate - their names, faces and not-so-flattering images are splashed across news screens every day.

    The book was interesting, but I felt that Lee Woodruff ends up protraying herself as a selfish wife who is annoyed first at her husband's career and then annoyed at the inconvenience his injury caused their family. She describes herself several times as a "single parent" because Bob travelled so much. As a real-life single parent, this completely offended me. A single parent not only cares for their children alone, they also support them alone. A single parent is not a wife of a guy with a six-figure salary who happens to work a lot. If Lee had left these comments out, the book would have been much more palatable. ...more info
  • A page turner
    This was terrifying, interesting, heartbreaking, heartwarming, emotional, an excellent read. Admiration for Lee and Bob grew as the book progressed. ...more info
  • In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
    I am just finishing this book now and I would recommend it to anyone. Amazing is about all I can say....more info
  • In an Instant
    A most interesting read about the lives of families when a spouse is a well known reporter. It is written to include the womans perspective, gives the feel of what following one's dream can do to other family members. ...more info
  • Life Sometimes Throws A Curve Ball
    In An Instant, is the story of not only Bob Woodruff's on going recovery from his injury, but also the story of the marriage of Bob and his wife Lee. Bob and Lee chronical Bob's rise as a television journalist which was interesting. Throughout the book, Lee and Bob wrote seperate chapters.They went through so much hardship when Bob was injured.This is a sad story but Woodruff's are determined to suceed.
    The writing was clear and very factual. I did not finish their book knowing what kind of personalities they had. Were they nice to people who worked for them? Do they have a spiritual beliefs?
    Bob's medical journey was very informative and made me be more appreciative for our soldiers who have been injured.

    ...more info
  • A Real Love Story
    Im glad I have read this book. This is what love really means. Acceptance, compromise, loyalty and love plus more love. This couple has survived crisis living day to day and dealing with each circunstance just for the love they have each other and to their family. The real story reveal how they survive waiting in the Lord, with faith and thanks to the compassion of good people who always were near them to take care of every single need, of their children, etc. and who provided support thru the crisis time....more info
  • traumatic brain injury
    Reading this novel hit so close to home as our son was in an automobile accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as many other injuries. The unknown, trying to balance the rest of your life and family while being a caregiver and the healing touched our hearts. It is a great read for everyone - keep the tissues near.

    m beal...more info
  • A Story of Love, Courage and Hope
    In An Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing is a serious book with a happy on-going ending.

    Bob Woodruff,an ABC news anchor was injured by an IED (improvised explosive device) riding in an Iraqi tank, covering the war, in January, 2006.

    Written by Lee and Bob Woodruff, the book contains both points of view and includes the story of their lives together before Bob suffered a head injury in the blast. His hospitalization and recovery was amazing. His family was there throughout the whole ordeal and the Nation prayed for him.

    It was obvious that God was watching over him. His injuries were so severe, it is a miracle he lived to tell his own story.
    ...more info
  • An inspiring story about love and determination
    I was extremely impressed by this book. I followed the news coverage about the injuries ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, sustained in January 2006 while reporting in Iraq, so I was familiar with the severity of Bob's condition. I also knew that he made a remarkable recovery, and I watched the documentary he made for ABC that detailed his experiences in Iraq as well as his time recovering in the hospital and rehabilitation facility. I figured that "In an Instant" would just provide more details that had to be cut out of the TV documentary, but I was wrong. This book is so much more than that.

    First of all, Bob only wrote half of this book. The other half was penned by Bob's devoted wife, Lee, who remained vigilant at her husband's side throughout his recovery. In addition to chronicling the circumstances leading up to the explosion in Iraq and the difficulties that Bob faced during his recovery, the book also provides a history of Lee and Bob as a couple. When they first reconnected after college, Bob was a hip young lawyer, but he was soon bit by the journalism bug. Both he and Lee made numerous sacrifices and dragged their family around the world on more than one occasion so that Bob could fulfill his dreams and have a successful career in journalism. The life of a journalist takes a toll on the family, though, and both Lee and Bob discuss the many challenges and personal struggles their marriage faced over the years.

    Despite the hardships caused by Bob's career, nothing could prepare this couple for what happened in Iraq in the winter of 2006. The details of what happened to Bob are horrifying, and it's amazing that he's made such great strides in his recovery. "In an Instant" is an inspirational story about how miracles can happen, but it also paints a portrait of an incredibly solid marriage, which is always nice to see....more info
  • A Real Love Story
    These two are incredible. They love each other, their families and their chosen careers. Everyone should read this to know the meaning of REAL. Not to mention what they have endured through recovery. After reading this.I made sure I told everyone I loved them in my life and most especially my husband because you really never know. A must read. I am glad they chose to share this with us. When David Bloom died I was heartbroken. No I did not know him but I enjoyed his reporting and felt he had so much more to do. When this happened to Bob Woodruff I knew I had to read the story because of his connection to Mr. Bloom. Two amazing men and thankfully one has survived....more info
  • Traumatic Brain Injury In An Instant or In A Heartbeat
    This is a book I could have written myself if I'd have known how. Every word Lee and Bob wrote could have been written by my husband and I. Lee and Bob wrote with candor, love, humor, and most of all, abiding hope. I read the book in one day; couldn't put it down. It's a MUST read for anyone who lives with or knows someone who has suffered TBI. It's a MUST read for anyone interested in the kind of injuries our soldiers are suffering in Iraq. It's a MUST read for anyone interested in the risks of good journalism. It's a wonderful book. I highly recommend it....more info
  • There is a great story here, however...
    This is a memoir written by Bob and Lee Woodruff. The passages are divided between Bob and Lee, each giving their recollection of the way certain events unfolded. I found Bob's accounts to be gripping and interesting, maybe because he is the one who received the traumatic injury. I found Lee's writing akin to reading a bad soap opera script. It was almost unreadable at times. I understand that she is facing hardships with her husband in a coma, but it nothing like what your typical family has to face under the same circumstances. At one point, this Colgate educated woman wonders how she is going to pay the bills with her husband in a coma? When I read this, I got the feeling that she didn't know how to pay the bills, i.e. write out a check and mail it. I don't think money is an issue for this Westchester County, NY family. It was passages like that which detract from the book. I found Bob's account of his therapy and what he had to go through to get back to himself very interesting but too brief. In the after forward, Bob mentions he is working on a documentary about his journey and the journey GIs have to make in recovering from traumatic brain injuries. I don't know if this has come out yet, but it would be an interesting show....more info
  • Liked the story
    I really liked the story -- what happened and how they dealt with it. But, I thought the writing was extremely poor, which is strange, since they are both professional writers. It made me very curious as to what is he doing now. I found very little information on the internet to see how his recovery is progressing and you don't see him on ABC anymore. ...more info
  • In An Instant
    This is a must read, a wonderful book of endurance and love in a family. This man should not be alive today according to his injuries but he is and thankfully. "In An Instant" shows just how fast your life can change from wonderful to terrible. Every family should read this book...more info
  • Love & Compassion's Finest Hour
    "In an Instant" is truly one of the most profound lessons regarding how powerful the healing power of love can truly be, if successfully applied. Not only is it a true medical miracle that Bob Woodruff has survived but it is also a testimony to the loving care of his wife Lee Woodruff and their children, that played an instrumental part in Bob's recovery. I am amazed at how far Bob Woodruff has come from being on death's bed to the expert care of the finest medical team, the loving and care of Lee Woodruff, Bob's wife and the touching role that Bob's own children played in his recovery. This is the ultimate example of how being there for your loved ones through pain and suffering can reap the biggest reward of all...optimum physical recovery as well as necessary emotional healing. I have already passed this remarkable book on to a dear friend of mine who is a caregiver for her husband who suffers from a physical handicap that has paralyzed him and keeps him in bed 2/7. Lee Woodruff's book is a balm of healing not only to her husband, Bob Woodruff but, Lee is an inspiration to every single reader of this story that challenges us to all love one another in both good times and especially the bad times. Love not only conquers death but love is the greatest healer of all. Please rush to read this great testimony of such remarkable love and devotion....more info
  • I couldn't put it down
    I had watched Bob and Lee's documentary when it was on and their story just touched me so much because I was also going through my own personal tragedy and I needed to hear that miracles still do happen. It gave me hope and although my tragedy did not end up with a happy ending, their personal story was so amazing and really uplifting. It is a true demonstration of just how your life can turn upside down in an instant and just how important it is to have a support system during a crisis because without it you have nothing and it can totally change the outcome for everyone involved. ...more info
  • A Real Love Story
    I read books every day, mostly fiction, but this is the best book I have read in a long time. This is a love story and an adventure story, and mostly a story of survival. Most people's daily problems seem less significant after reading this book.

    ...more info
  • In an Instant: A Family's Jouney of Love and Healing
    What this is, is a journey of Yuppie-fication of a combat trauma. If there was ever a disclosure of modern life with all its benefits and right connections, this is it. "Feeling, oh God, I am feeling...." This is a salute to what the young, privileged adults are living and dealing with ever since graduation into law firms and PR firms, where a job always awaits them, while they move across the country and the globe. Never are we pounding the streets here, reading the want-ads and being unemployed for months at a time with this bunch. Tennis courts and White House dinners, and "Oh, God, for a conversational friend who understands!!" This book is meant for the time machine, and inserted into a capsule to be opened maybe 150 years from now to illustrate this time period, and the network news media. I love some of the quotes to their children who are to be ultimately protected from the real world: "Is Dad in danger??" "No, he is embedded with the US Military!!!" Wow. About the time one has read at least 150 pages into superwoman Lee addressing every twinge of an emotion, this reader is prone to say, "GOOD LORD, do you think all those young widows at Fort Bragg think this way??" C'mon; the Woodruffs got the best medical treatment within the US Military one could get--without wearing a uniform, and thankfully this book will illustrate that fantastic medical technology leap into the future due to our doctors who are in uniform taking care of these IED tragedies that George W. Bush and his band of freaks in the White House have incurred for all time. Just think, he may be out of the Presidency in a short while, but he will get to look at these head trauma victims for the rest of his life. (There is some justice after all.) Like Bob says, walking the halls of Bethesda, some of these guys had no one there at all to help them out. Lonely, without care and compassion, they had to face what he did by themselves--and so will. Make sure the VA gets the funding it will need for a very long time if you care at all after reading this book....more info
  • In An Instant
    This book was excellent. I thoughthly enjoyed it. My sister is not reading it. ...more info
  • In An Instant
    Very authentic and descriptive true to life account of the authors. Their experience was very touching showing that when all is almost gone relationship and coupled with your reaction to events remains the most important element in life. I enjoyed listening to the first hand account of the authors. God bless!...more info
  • A Wonderful True Story About Love ,Hope and Healing
    I happened to read a short story about Lee and Bob Woodruff in Guideposts. I had also seen a prime time special about Bob and his injury and treatment and that of other service men in Iraq .But the story in Guideposts really tweaked my curiousity in how exactly Lee and Bob could survive such a horrific injury and cope with his very special needs and long recovery .How does one survive something like that and move on ? Their book tells you exactly how they did it .I enjoyed learning about how they met and fell in love, how Bob came to be a top news anchor , what he was doing in Iraq and everything that happened during his injury and afterward .Lee spoke with brutal honesty about her feelings while keeping a close vigil at Bob's side and trying to keep her family intact .
    Thank-you Bob and Lee for sharing your story with us and teaching us how to get through some of life's most difficult times . ...more info
  • In an Instant
    The book was enjoyable. It was interesting to read about Lee and Bob Woodruff's emotional state especially once Bob was injured. It could be helpful to families dealing with brain injuries and showing the importance of support systems. ...more info
  • A very good book
    This book is easy to read and really very, very good. The depth of feeling and introspection documented by both Lee and Bob is outstanding. A great message for both husbands and wives....especially husbands that travel and are gone a lot from their families. I certainly recommend it....more info
  • Overall great read!
    The Woodruffs cover both pre-accident and post-accident life. This helps so you know what their relationship is based on. From observing a situation close to me (brain injury) reading this book touched me personally as to how Lee dealt with the situation and dealing with it afterwards. Very emotional and hard to deal with someone with a brain injury. You can only hope for improvement! Anyone who has a loved one with a brain injury can relate. After all Bob went through he is doing awesome! The book kept my interest throughout and not many books have done that lately as I'm a very busy working mom with not much "down time". Enjoy!...more info
  • excellent reading
    This was a well written book. I enjoyed it immencely. I am an avid reader of many different books and I would rate this one among the top ten. ...more info
  • Great read!
    This was a great read. Very interesting journey. After reading reviews, I expected it to be too sappy... but it really wasn't. The book felt very honest and I enjoyed experiencing their journey. Highly recommended for a casual read....more info
  • Woodruff and Wife, a great team
    I anxiously awaited my copy of this book, and was not dissappointed in any way. The flow of narrative from both Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee is smooth and very touching, and brings you right into their world and what they went through during Bob's injury. How wonderful that this has brought attention to the treatment of soldiers wounded in our military. Bob and Lee may be two of the moving forces that bring an end to this war, and raise our awareness of what people go through with brain injury. I was so grateful for the speed with which this book came out, and I know it will affect on many levels everyone who reads it....more info
    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!!...more info
  • Most EXCELLENT!!!
    There are so many reviews of the content I won't go there, but I thoroughly enjoyed these CDs. Especially impressive to me is that the Woodruffs, including their oldest daughter, have read their own book. I was so riveted I was up most of the night listening!! :D...more info
  • so-so
    I have been dissappointed in this book. It is hard to read. I bought it to read about Bob Woodruff's healing journey, yet the book skips back to the Woodruff's early marriage years. Some of this background is ok, but there is too much. This book just doesn't keep my interest....more info
  • A gripping tale of a news anchor's recovery
    Lee and Bob Woodruff were a poster couple for success. However, "in an instant" they became a terrified, grieving wife and a mortally wounded man whose gripping story was played out in a fishbowl of headlines and public sympathy.

    Lee was a powerful public relations executive married to a news anchor who had risen in the competitive world of broadcast journalism like a shooting star. His career sometimes put a strain on their marriage, separating him many times and for long periods from Lee and their four children. But the couple's love was durable and overcame a number of obstacles. In his biggest leap up the ladder of achievement, Bob was named co-anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight" with Elizabeth Vargas in December 2005, replacing Peter Jennings.

    Bob's star fell and nearly burned out when he was embedded with troops in Iraq barely a month later. His armored vehicle was hit by a nearby improvised explosive device (IED), and he and a cameraman were injured. Bob's head was bwoodruffed by hundreds of rocks of various sizes that broke his skull like a melon, and one large rock lodged in his throat. At the moment of impact, Bob was blessed with a vision of white light and a sense of pervading peace. But soon afterwards he awoke, aware of spitting blood and feeling someone touching his head. He recalled being relieved when he learned that the cameraman was fine.

    Then followed the slow and agonizing healing process. IN AN INSTANT is written in tandem by Bob and Lee. We learn that being at the bedside and in the waiting room can be as painful as lying on the operating table. Lee describes feeling grateful that she loved her husband, and praying and working for his recovery. As anyone knows who has ever dealt with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it's excruciating to watch someone who used to be intelligent and on top of his/her game struggling to remember the word for "bird" or "lettuce." Bob talks about how simple words would float by, but he just couldn't catch them. He had to learn how to speak again, and his balance was affected by the loss of that large section of cranium.

    Lee and Bob know how lucky they are. They had many allies and advantages to speed Bob's recuperation. He had cranial reconstruction and every necessary therapy. Above all, he had a caring wife who oversaw his treatments --- though she was often in a private hell of worry.

    Seeing soldiers with injuries similar to his own has made Bob crucially aware of how much he has regained and how great the loss can be when the brain is affected. Bob has improved sufficiently so that he now feels like a father and husband again. Though his career is still an open question, he participated in producing a documentary called "To Iraq and Back," which highlights his extraordinary journey and the suffering of soldiers with TBI.

    --- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
    ...more info
  • Not to be missed
    I was so saddened when Bob Woodruff was injured in 2006. Saddened for him, his family and upset that his career had been cut short. I was looking forward to the new Walter Cronkite of my generation. Since that time, I had wondered what had happened to the "hunky" Bob Woodruff..."In an Instant" tells you exactly what Bob and his family have been through in the past year. I read the book because of Bob AND I came away loving his wife, Lee. She is an amazing woman who has kept her family together with love, grace and a wicked sense of humor. Thank you for sharing your story, Woodruff family....more info
  • Coping with a Crisis
    This is the best book I have read in a long time, and a beautiful love story, and I hope they make a movie of it.
    ...more info


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