In a visit that surprised his colleagues at ABC News, Bob Woodruff visited the newsroom Tuesday for the first time since he was severely injured in a roadside attack in Iraq Jan. 29. Woodruff has been recovering at his home since April, after first receiving treatment at a Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland and then moving to a private New York facility. He suffered head injuries and wounds to the upper body.
ABC's World News Tonight closed this evening's broadcast with footage of Woodruff's visit. Woodruff, smiling and appearing healthy, spoke, saying that one of the first things he thought of when he woke up in his hospital bed was his colleagues. His wife, Lee, then praised his colleages for the support they have given him. At one point, Woodruff blew a kiss to the camera and said, "Man, it's good to be here."
ABC News executive producer Jon Banner blogged about Woodruff's visit on ABCnews.com. Below is an excerpt: "President Bush's visit to Iraq wasn't the only surprise around here today. Bob stopped by the newsroom this afternoon, his first time back in nearly four and a half months. It's the first time many here had seen him, and he was greeted by a spontaneous round of applause. You could literally see the emotion in each hug. There was barely a dry eye.
"This being a newsroom, word quickly spread that he was in the building and within a matter of minutes, a crowd of nearly 100 gathered to see him -– producers, correspondents, camera operators, editors, executives.
"We all crowded around Bob and his wife, Lee, who has been so strong for all of us since that day in January. It was Bob who did most the talking. He cracked a few jokes and there were a lot of laughs. He talked about his rehabilitation, his desire to get back to work, and how wonderful it is to be able spend more time with his four children.
"Charlie [Gibson] will have more about Bob’s visit on this evening’s broadcast.
Suffice to say, there are a lot of happy faces around the newsroom today."