NEWS- CBS's Dozier: Doing better after Iraq wounds

Two months after she was critically injured in a roadside blast in Iraq, CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier, who did graduate work at UVA in the early '90s, is doing "great," says her Charlottesville pal Coy Barefoot, a WINA radio talk show host who received an email from Dozier last week.

"She said she's trying to respond to more than 1,000 emails," he says. Just this week, Dozier left the hospital and entered rehab. "She's working right now on walking, getting her legs back," Barefoot says.

Dozier was injured May 29 in Baghdad after she and her camera crew left the safety of their Humvee. An Army captain, an interpreter, and two of Dozier's cameramen died in the blast, while Dozier sustained serious injuries to her legs and head. 

The well known 39-year-old foreign correspondent earned a master's degree in Middle East foreign affairs from UVA in 1993. Though the danger of her work in the Mid-East is no secret, news of her injuries devastated friends, who initially struggled to stay updated on her condition as she was first flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a U.S. military hospital in Germany, where several surgeries to remove shrapnel from her head pulled her from the edge of death. 

A CBS report indicates that Dozier's blood pressure dipped precariously and that her pulse actually stopped at one point after the attack. "If this had happened back in the States," a doctor at the combat hospital told CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, "she probably would have died."

Her bravery prompted one soldier at Landstuhl to give her the ultimate military honor: his own Purple Heart.

"She's suffered as much as any soldier," he said to Dozier's brother, Michael, according to a CBS news tribute that aired on June 1. 

Though doctors were "cautiously optimistic" about Dozier's prognosis after the successful surgery to save her legs, she has since made a "miraculous recovery," according to her boss, CBS News president Sean McManus, who shared the good news at the Television Critics Association's annual meeting on Sunday, June 17 in Pasadena, California, according to a report on E! News online.

"Kimberly has no real business being alive right now," McManus reportedly said, adding, "the good news is she has really no mental effects from the accident. She's sharp as a tack."

Barefoot confirms McManus' assertion.

"Her email was witty and full of great spirit," says Barefoot, host of the WINA radio program "Charlottesville, Right Now." In fact, Barefoot says the two discussed Dozier's future travel plans.

Dozier did not respond to the Hook's emails by press time, and there was no answer at her parents' home outside Baltimore. But Barefoot says Charlottesvillians may get to hear Dozier's story firsthand in the near future.

"She said that there's a possiblity she might be able to come to Charlottesville to do the interview that she and I have been talking about for months now," Barefoot says. "I don't want to speak for her, but I'd like to arrange some type of public event for her when she's here."

Two views of Kimberly Dozier