Woodruffs An Inspiration To Hayden Couple

SPOKANE — When ABC’s Bob Woodruff was injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq, his wife, Lee, was more shocked than anyone.

Especially when she learned he had suffered a brain injury and would have to relearn almost everything he knew. The Woodruffs are now dedicated to helping others with brain injuries get the help they need, and their story is hitting home with a local couple going through the same thing.

Two years after a roadside bomb that nearly killed her husband, Lee Woodruff is on the road, sharing her husband’s journey of recovery and the couple’s quest to get brain injury victims the treatment and therapy they need. Lee says she hasn’t had time to grieve.

“I think other people who have been down that road will say, ‘I would have loved to curl up on the couch with a bottle of Jack Daniels,’ but it’s not an option.”

Her drive and passion to increase brain injury awareness has forced Lee to leave behind her four children while she travels spreading the couple’s message.

“I feel like, in the end, what I’m modeling for my kids is to leave the world a slightly better place and teach them that good things can come out of bad things,” she says.

Her message is inspiring people like Ronnie and Lorie Grigsby of Hayden, whose lives paralel the Woodruffs. Ronnie was working as a contractor in the Middle East last year when he was hit by an IED. His brain injury forced him to learn how to walk and talk again.

“I’ve been down a lot of the same roads he’s been down,” Ronnie says.

Lorie says Lee is her role model, a strong woman acting as the rock of support for her husband and kids.

“She’s just been an inspiration,” says Lorie. “What she’s been through, what she continues to go through, I can just really relate to her.”

Both men give their wives credit for what they’ve achieved in their recovery, but both women admit the journey hasn’t been easy.

“I say, ‘You better not come behind closed doors,’ because I scream like him when his underwear on the floor just like every other wife.”

Still, Lee says that journey is worth taking so that everyone with a brain injury can get the treatment and therapy they deserve.