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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

ABC Anchor, cameraman to Bethesda

Military hospital in Iraq

Injured Newsmen Are Transferred Back to U.S.

Published: January 31, 2006

FRANKFURT, Jan. 31 — The ABC News anchor and cameraman wounded in a roadside bombing in Iraq left a military hospital in Germany for the United States today, and a doctor who treated them said both had made "remarkable" progress since being admitted on Monday.

The anchor, Bob Woodruff, has been able to move his fingers and toes, said the doctor, Lieut. Col. Guillermo Tellez. Mr. Woodruff remains heavily sedated, Colonel Tellez said, but "he does open his eyes a little bit."

While Mr. Woodruff, 44, faces months of recovery and the full extent of his injuries are not yet known, Colonel Tellez said he could imagine him going back to work someday as a broadcast journalist.

"He has a very good chance," Colonel Tellez said.

The cameraman, Doug Vogt, who was not as severely injured by the explosion, was "awake a lot, and talking to family and friends," said Marie Shaw, a spokeswoman for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Colonel Tellez, the hospital's chief of surgery, said, "We're optimistic that in the long term, they will do very, very well."

Mr. Vogt, 46, and Mr. Woodruff were being transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Ms. Shaw said. They departed from the Ramstein Air Base shortly before 1 p.m., local time, on a C-17 medical evacuation plane that also carried soldiers wounded in Iraq.

On Monday, Mr. Woodruff had surgery to cleanse and extract bomb fragments from his neck and head. Colonel Tellez said it was too soon to assess the head injuries suffered by Mr. Woodruff, who was wounded Sunday while standing in the hatch of an Iraqi military vehicle northwest of Baghdad.

"We really won't know the full extent of those injuries for days, weeks, or even months," Colonel Tellez said. "In a case like this, you've actually had an injury to your brain. It takes a while to recover from that."

Colonel Tellez said it was also not yet clear whether Mr. Woodruff or Mr. Vogt would need plastic surgery.

posted by Steve @ 11:37:00 AM

11:37:00 AM

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