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

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  3,051 Ratings  ·  398 Reviews
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 ex
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Random House (first published January 1st 2007)
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Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing story of a man's fight to come back and of his wife's emotional roller coaster. It hit home with me because my daughter's significant other suffered major brain damage on Dec. 20. He is not going to make it. But Lee Woodruff's description of her husband and of her own feelings and fears paralleled my daughter's in the beginning. It gave me more insight as to what was going on with her and with brain trauma.
The book is written in part by Bob Woodruff and in part by his wife, L
Books Ring Mah Bell
Simply stated, it is a miracle that Bob Woodruff survived a blast from an IED (improvised explosive device) in Iraq. His level of recovery has been remarkable.

Working in rehabilitation, I was mainly interested in the experience they had while recovering from his TBI. I expected the book to be more of that. The story of recovery weaves in and out with the personal history of Bob and Lee (his wife), his career, and other significant events.

Mr. Woodruff had to overcome serious physical and cognitiv
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could post more than five stars, I would do so for this book. I cried in many places as I read it, but I also laughed and smiled. Wow. What an amazing story of a family who has been through so much. And what a way to illustrate, that no matter what you face, you can get through it if you face it together. I have a quote I want to share from the book.

"But the moments that define us, that strip us down to raw bone and cartilage and build us back up: they are the tough ones. They are the stor
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is not the first personal story I have read about someone who survives a traumatic brain injury(TBI). Why I don't know, but TBI is very interesting to me. Reading about how the brain recovers from TBI and how the person with TBI is changed because of it is just very fascinating to me.

Woodruffs' story is amazing. If you've been through any kind of medical crisis with a loved one, there is much in this book that will ring true to you. It's been a long time since I've cried while reading a boo
David Litwack
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book to do research for my upcoming novel, Along the Watchtower, hoping to better understand the impact of Traumatic Brain Injury. I was unprepared to find such an honest and heart wrenching story. Like the wonderful novel, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, this story is from the perspective of the person with injury/illness. In Still Alice, the reader gets to be inside the head of a Harvard professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease as we follow her through her gradual ...more
Kathleen Hagen
In an Instant: a Family’s Journey of Love and Healing, by Lee and Bob Woodruff. A.
This book details the career of Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee and her career. The book was written after he was injured in Iraq shortly after he had gotten his dream job-anchor of the ABC Night News. Lee began a journal to help her deal with the changes-first, was Bob going to live at all? If he lived, would he have permanent brain injuries? Would he ever be able to talk, walk, hear or see again? Would his persona
Megan Palasik
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, memoir
I liked this book a lot. I've heard a lot about Bob Woodruff not because of his job as a reporter and anchor, but because of his injury. I'm a speech-language pathologist and his brain injury was talked about in our TBI and aphasia classes.

I thought the book was interesting and well read by Bob and Lee. Most of the story was told by Lee, his wife. I liked that at the beginning of each chapter, it gave the place and date they would be writing about. The book bounced back and forth between Bob sho
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I cant believe I just spent almost 3 hrs reading a true story memoir. This was so fascinating that it was a page Turner for me. I remember so well some of his stories on the air so it was refreshing to know his competitor David Bloom was one of his closest friends. I loved Peter Jennings world news and was schocked like the rest of the world when he died. I was hopeful for Bob woodruff to do well in those big shoes to fill! So this story goes back and forth between both Bob and his wife talking ...more
Jul 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ainsley by: my parents
I wasn't nuts about this, and I was surprised about that because I expected to really enjoy it. Several people in my family loved it. I'm not sure why I didn't. I know that I wasn't very impressed by the writing, but that's not unusual in memoirs.
Sharon Orlopp
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lee and Bob Woodruff do an incredible job of blending two distinct writing styles, voices, and perspectives for this profound memoir after Bob was injured in January 2006 by an explosive device (IED) near the tank he was riding in.

A few months before the life-changing event, Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas had been named as co-anchors for World News Tonight. They were successors to Peter Jennings after he passed away.

Lee and Bob take the reader on an exciting journey of their lives as they li
DonnaJo Jo Pallini
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful! A very heartfelt and truthful story of a family's trials and loves. I appreciate the honesty of Lee Woodruff and it is nothing short of a miracle that Bob can tell his side of the story after such a horrific accident.
In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing by Lee & Bob Woodruff is so emotionally charged you can't help but feel every single heart wrenching moment that this family must endure to save the one man they all very deeply love. I cried on that terrible day that Bob was hurt and I cry now as I revisit that fateful day through the eyes of the person who loves him the most.

Bob Woodruff is a man who is not only extremely handsome but intelligent, loving, kind, energetic, respectful and
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
My Review of In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing by Lee and Bob Woodruff
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 t
Pris robichaud
Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing

"Will You Still Love Me?", 1 Mar 2007

Lee Woodruff questions her husband's physician " Will he still love me?" Yes, his phyiscian answers. I have not had a patient who didn't love the people he loved before."

'In An Instant' is more than a poignant review of the year in the life of Lee and Bob Woodruff. This book is a reflection of their thoughts, prayers, experiences and day to day life. Bob Woodruff, ABC journalist, was in Iraq to report on the war and was critically injured. Half of his brain
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Some thoughts (however, slightly disjointed and incomplete)

This book is a beautifully written account of a family's journey and testament to the importance of love, hope, and faith. Throughout the book Lee and Bob present stories and feelings surrounding his injury and other components of their live together. This method clearly emphasizes the importance of considering the context in which an injury occurs. As a result of their approach to the book I find myself walking away with two ending impr
After receiving several positive recommendations from friends about this book, I decided to pick up a copy at the library. In 2006 we were living in an apartment without any TV reception, so I had never heard about or seen any of the news coverage about what had happened to Bob Woodruff in Iraq. While reading I realized this had apparently been a big story that I knew nothing about at all.
In January 2006, shortly after being named co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, Bob Woodruff was embedded
Sarah Sammis
Mar 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: released, review-copy
In an Instant is a two part memoir, one about how the Woodruffs met and the other about Bob's recovery from the injuries he received when an IED exploded under the vehicle he was riding in. For the most part, Lee's memoir covers Bob's recovery. Bob's memoir in turn covers their courtship and marriage.

As Lee explains in the "About this Book" section, the process of writing was therapy for her during those tough weeks while Bob was in the medically induced coma. Bob's contribution to the book was
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has been through anything. anyone who knows someone who is going through something.
I don't know what I was expecting, honestly, but whatever it was, this book surpassed it. It is such a cliche, but I'm not kidding around... you will laugh! You will cry! I really did both of these things while reading, often just minutes apart. What I don't think is apparent, from reviews and so forth, is that this book isn't co-written as in written together. It is written by 2 separate authors telling the same overarching story, each from his/her unique perspective. Bob Woodruff is the celebr ...more
May 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not a huge fan of this book: it was much longer than it needed to be, and while some people might enjoy bob's ramblings about the current sociopolitical climates of different areas of the world at different points int time, personally, that is not why I picked up this book. I picked up this book to learn the personal stories of Bob and Lee, particularly as they relate to Bob's TBI while reporting in the middle-east. And while I did learn a lot about the family's lived experiences and TBI recover ...more
Kristen MacGregor
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kristen by: Lehi Utah Library
This is an amazing story about what one man [and his family] went through after he suffered major head wounds from an IED during the war in Iraq. Bob Woodruff was an ABC reporter, and therefore I believe put himself in the position that he did when he was within feet of a bomb on Iraqi soil. While there is not really anything wondrous or magnificent about their story [other than the fact that he actual survived, and his cognitive resources pulled together enough for him to co-author a book], I s ...more
This book is positive because it is the first story that touches on the Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) suffered by Americans in Iraq. TBI's have been the hallmark injury of this war and not enough has been done to protect our soldiers against them, testing to create a baseline for cognitive function before our soldiers leave is still not being implemented on a widespread basis so there is no record of their previous cognitive function to compare them to when they get back. This is a disservice t ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
i wanted to give this book 4 and 1/2 stars but don't know how:( this was an almost perfect book. the premise was that both husband and wife gave their accounts of woodruff's injuries suffered when an ied exploded near him in iraq and his subsequent recovery time for a year. it also gave some background on the couple and how they arrived at this place in their lives.

the book delivered on so many levels: medical description of the many injuries he received for us medical junkies, her feelings and
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who need comfort in tragedy
This was a great book for me to read. At first, I was not interested in reading it any further, but when I read about the horrific things that happened to Bob Woodruff during the winter of 2006 while he was in Iraq. It made me wonder how he would recover from the injuries that he sustained from the IED that had exploded next to his tank. And it was wonderful to read that his wife, Lee, stood right by his side for the 5 weeks that he was recovering.

This book also describes their early courtship
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
My brother suffered a traumatic brain injury January 23rd and many people have recommended this book to our family. It gives a real, and eerily similar, tale of living with TBI. Bob Woodruff had an outstanding recovery, yet was in a coma for 5 weeks and almost died from pneumonia and sepsis. The path of how the wife feels and rebuilding of their lives to the new normal. The fact that it takes years to recover, and the end point is always uncertain. The doctors are always saying, he could die, ha ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Knitting teacher
My knitting teacher lent me this book and I just got around to reading it. It's about Bob Woodruff, an ABC anchor, who was embedded with the military in Iraq during the war in 2006. He and his cameraman were riding in a tank when an IED exploded next to them. The main IED ammunition was rocks. Woodruff ended up having rocks blasted through his skull, his face and back.

This book is the Woodruff's story about Bob's recovery from such traumatic brain injury. The book flashbacks quite a bit into the
Mar 13, 2011 rated it liked it
The book is an account of Bob Woodruff's traumatic injury due to an IED while reporting in Iraq. Although both spouses write sections of the book, most of it is in Lee Woodruff's voice. The story of Bob Woodruff's injury is probably typical of the many men and women serving in the armed forces who have suffered horrific injury in wartime. What's not typical were the immense resources the Woodruffs had available to them in the recovery and aftermath. They had a very strong support system of famil ...more
Jan 29, 2010 added it
Shelves: world-events
Wow! This book has been quite the attitude adjuster for me! A perfect read for Valentines.

I thought that this was well written. I normally don't read books that make me cry, but I knew the outcome was a happy one! Any tears shed were ones that I could relate to Lee with, or atleast sympathize with her!

One thing that I liked was that it has been in my lifetime, that much of the current events that were discussed, took place! I liked reading Bob's thoughts on these job. I never gave a second thou
I read this for our continuing ed journal club at work. It tells the story of ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by an IED in Iraq. Bob's wife Lee co-authored the book and describes the experience from a family's perspective. The book alternates between Bob's recovery and the history of their lives together. While I was less interested in the story of their dating and early marriage, it was interesting to read how Bob went from lawyer to anchor, u ...more
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've wanted to read this book since it came out. I liked how Bob and Lee took turns entering it was a diary. I also liked the repeated references to the superb military medical care. We have the best acute trauma professionals in the world! The book was well-written, although I was a bit put off by Lee's continual comparison of her situation with the thousands of other war-time injuries and how the spouses coped. Even though her husband was injured covering the war, she was not a ...more
Dec 31, 2008 rated it liked it
In an Instant written by Bob and Lee Woodruff gives insight into dating, marriage, family, carrier, and following your passions. Bob Woodruff as a reporter goes through current history and his role in it. He gives a personal account of his experience at the Tiananmen Square Massacre. He also tells of the life of a soldier in Iraq leading up to the invasion.

This book puts into perspective the potential harm that the US and allies face in Iraq and Afghanistan. It shows the strain that war has on
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In addition to Those We Love Most (Sept 2012) Lee Woodruff is co-author of New York Times bestselling In an Instant & author of a series of essays Perfectly Imperfect. She is correspondent for CBS This Morning and has written numerous articles for Ladies Home Journal, Redbook & Parade. She & her husband co founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation which assists wounded veterans & their f ...more
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“Your recovery is going to be painstaking, like the way the ants are building the tunnels, one grain at a time. But you will get there. I just know it.” 3 likes
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