Woodruff Fights for Words

Wounded ABC newsman describes continuing struggle
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 10:40 AM CST
ABC's Bob Woodruff talks with U.S. soldiers shortly before being injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq. (AP Photo/ABC)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When ABC's Bob Woodruff reported recently from North Korea, he appeared fully recovered from horrific head injuries he suffered in Iraq. In fact, he has a lingering disorder that could have ended his career as a journalist. He discusses working with expressive aphasia, a struggle to remember words, with Christine Dugas of USA Today—who suffers from it, too.

"I couldn't even remember the word for a hamburger or an egg sandwich," he says. A million Americans with damaged brains also have the condition. Reading and writing helped Woodruff recover most of his language skills—now he tends to forget nouns more than verbs—and he has described his struggle in interviews to draw attention to traumatic brain injuries suffered by many US troops in Iraq.