- The hospital informed us that both victims were happily recovering.
- The hospital informed us that both victims were, happily, recovering.
What is the difference in meaning between the two? Aren't they the same?
The two sentences are not quite the same. The first sentence reports that the victims are happily recovering; the implication is that they are all smiles while their legs are in traction, because they are naturally of a sunny disposition, because they are pleased to be alive, or for some other reason.
The second sentence states that the victims are recovering, with the aside that this is a happy occurrence. It doesn't mean the victims are happy; they may be in pain or in a towering rage and planning to sue, but they are nevertheless recovering.