Kimberly Dozier's Family At Her Side

Kimberly Dozier
CBS
The family of CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier is by her side at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the U.S. military hospital in Germany where she is being treated.

Dozier was seriously wounded by a car bomb in Iraq. CBS cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were killed in the blast.

Dozier was under heavy sedation when her parents, siblings and boyfriend arrived, hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said. Still, Dozier reacted to the arrival of her boyfriend, Shaw added.

"She was aware of his presence. She is still very seriously injured, but she's stable and she responds to stimuli," Shaw said.

Dozier is in critical but stable condition and, according to a statement from CBS, is "resting comfortably today after receiving further treatment for injuries to her head and legs." "We are encouraged by reports from Dozier's doctors about the outcome of her recent surgeries," the statement continued.

Dozier had a very good night, CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports. She remains in intensive care on a ventilator, a routine measure, Shaw said.

"On the ventilator it's easier for her to get the oxygen level she needs," she added, noting she could not speculate on when Dozier may be able to go home, but said patients usually stay at Landstuhl for an average of three to four days before being flown to the United States for further care.

"She has to be stable enough to sustain the flight," she said.

At a media briefing in Germany on Tuesday, Col. W. Bryan Gamble said Dozier was moving her toes on the flight to Landstuhl and "was responsive, opening her eyes to commands."

Kate Rydell, a CBS News producer in Baghdad, said she told Dozier they were on their way to Germany.

"She blinked her eyes and nodded her head very slightly and then I knew that she received what I told her and there was something going on inside, which I took to be a very good sign," Rydell said.

Dozier was flown to Germany on a specially equipped military transport plane early Tuesday — a day after the bombing, after doctors in Iraq had a chance to stop her bleeding, replace a large quantity of lost blood, and stabilize her condition enough to allow her to be moved.

The combat support hospital where she was treated in Iraq, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, usually handles between 10 and 15 trauma cases a day, so doctors and nurses there knew what to expect when they heard Dozier and other military personnel had been wounded by a car bomb.

"If this would've happened back in the States, she probably would have died," one doctor at the combat hospital told Palmer.

The three journalists, who were embedded with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were doing a Memorial Day story about what life is like for the troops in Baghdad when an explosives-packed car blew up nearby.

Dozier, Douglas and Brolan had been riding in an armored Humvee. But at the time of the blast in the Karada section of Baghdad, they were outside on the street, accompanying troops who had stopped to inspect a checkpoint manned by the Iraqi Army. They were wearing helmets, flak jackets and protective eyeglasses when the bomb went off.

Douglas, 48, and Brolan, 42, died at the scene of the explosion, which also killed a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter and wounded six U.S. soldiers.

Dozier, 39, was flown to the closest U.S. military hospital, which was about a mile away, where she underwent two operations.

Palmer reports that at one point Dozier's pulse stopped.

"She didn't have a heartbeat. She was as sick as you get," a doctor told Palmer.

"Her blood pressure dropped to a point where we could barely see what it was anymore, we could barely assess it. Basically, it means that she was going down ... But we were able to get her back by giving her fluids and medications," said Capt. Tiffany Fasco.

"She's lucky she got here when she did. If it had taken longer for her to get to the hospital, it may not have come to this outcome at this point," a doctor at the military hospital told MacVicar.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that doctors in Iraq were able to remove shrapnel from Dozier's head, but her more serious injuries are to her lower body. Doctors have said that they are cautiously optimistic about her prognosis.

Douglas, who was British, leaves a wife, Linda; two daughters, Kelly, 29, and Joanne, 26; and three grandchildren. Brolan, who was also British, leaves a wife, Geraldine; and two children, Sam, 18, and Agatha, 12. The bodies of Douglas and Brolan are being flown to Kuwait, where they will be met by their families, Martin reports.

The attack was among a wave of car and roadside bombs that left about three dozen people dead before noon Monday, including one explosion that killed 10 people on a bus. Nearly all the attacks occurred in Baghdad.

"This is a devastating loss for CBS News," said CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus in a statement calling the three journalists "veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day. They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public."

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly," said McManus. "Countless men and women put their lives on the line, day in and day out, in Iraq and other dangerous spots around the world, and they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for the work they do."

Douglas had worked for CBS News in many countries since the early 1990s, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips described Douglas as "one of those people you wanted around when things got dicey."

"He could charm his way through hostile country. He could defuse the belligerent tension at an armed roadblock. He could get the reluctant to tell you their story," Phillips said.