Survivor Story of a Doctor with Ebola


Katie Soto, Contributing Editor

On October of in the city of Atlanta, Dr. Ian Crozier was released from Emory University Hospital after a long hard battle from Ebola, a fatal virus. After a couple months, he returned with a bad pain in his left eye only to find out he still had the virus. Doctors were shocked when they found out that his left eye turned green, with an enlarged pupil that almost caused him to go blind. He got the virus from a country in Africa, called Sierra Leone, when working as a volunteer for the World Health Organization. When he came back, his blood was tested negative for Ebola but might have come into contact from semen (not by sexual transmission). About two months later, Crozier was diagnosed with the virus in his left eye, no one has been able to determine how he contracted it.

Crozier calls himself a poster child for “post Ebola syndrome” and has had a few symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, fatigue, and hearing loss. Doctors have said that having an eye infected is the worst part about the virus because it affects sight and is known as uveitis. Uveitis is a term for a dangerous inflammation inside the eye. It has also been diagnosed in West Africans who survived Ebola. “We’re seeing symptoms in patients who’ve been out of the treatment unit for up to nine months,” Dr. Fankhauser said to the New York Times, “They’re still very severe and impacting their life every day.”

When Crozier went in for treatment, he was given a high dose of prednisone. The drug caused mood swings like a teenager’s,  hunger, weight gain,  and insomnia. And still his sight worsened. He also had significant hearing loss on the same side. “The whole left side of your life is gone,” he said to the New York Times. “It was a very dark and depressing time.”

He spent Christmas in the hospital with his younger brother Mark, who stayed with him for most of his treatment. The worst part about treatment and recovery was when Crozier saw his eye changed color from blue to green. Doctors have said, rarely severe viral infections can cause such a color change, and it is usually permanent. “It was like an assault,” he said. “It was so personal.”-New York Times. After a few days, doctors had given him a drug to see if the inflammation would decrease. Over the next few months, his sight returned. Surprisingly, his eye turned blue again. Crozier was relieved and doctors were surprised that he was cured.