Dozier goes home

blog-dozier.JPGLeaning on a cane, Kimberly Dozier, the CBS journalist injured in Iraq on May 29, took several steps outside Kernan Hospital in Maryland on Wednesday, August 2, before going home, according to a report.

Dozier, 40, who attended UVA grad school in the early 1990s, was critically wounded by a roadside explosion as she and her crew worked on a Memorial Day story about U.S. troops in Iraq. Though all were wearing helmets, protective eyeglasses and flak jackets, two cameramen, Paul Douglas and James Brolan, died in the explosion, as did Army Captain James Funkhouser, a 35-year-old father of two, and an Iraqi translator.

While Dozier will continue rehab on an outpatient basis, "to get my body used to being in motion full time," she says in an official release, her recovery to this point has been near miraculous– something she attributes to the immediate medical attention she received and to the continued care in Germany and the United States, including a dozen surgeries to repair her damaged legs and to remove shrapnel from her head.

"I owe my life to the quick actions of the 4th Infantry Division’s Sgt. Daniel Mootoosammy – who took charge of the scene, with his commander down and many of his men injured – and medic Spc. Izzy Flores Jr., who patched me up," she writes in the statement. "Even with a car bomb cooking off, sending shrapnel through the air just a couple dozen feet from us, Spc. Flores just kept calmly speaking to me and working on my legs – no wavering, no pause."

Dozier says thousands of supportive messages she's received from around the country have buoyed her spirit and assisted her recovery as well.

"I’ve told friends it’s been like having 10,000 guardian angels on my shoulders," she writes.

Of her fallen colleagues, she writes, "I choose to remember them from the instant before the blast – each one of them consummate pros doing a job they loved to support the families back home they loved even more.”