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Doctor Nearly Killed By Ebola Shares Story Of Survival At UCSF

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A few months ago, Dr. Ian Crozier was in Sierra Leone, working with the World Health Organization, in the fight against Ebola. He never dreamed the virus would nearly kill him.

"I feel very, very grateful to be here, literally," Crozier said.

While treating patients in early September, Crozier developed a fever. A blood test revealed he had the Ebola virus. The infectious disease specialist was quickly airlifted to Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta, where his condition rapidly deteriorated.

"From the time I walked into Emory's doors, to waking up, I have absolutely no memory of those events," Crozier said.

Crozier spent 40 days, near death, in an isolation ward.

"I developed delirium. I had respiratory failure and had to be put on a ventilator. My kidneys failed and I needed dialysis," Crozier said.

Crozier received experimental treatment, a blood plasma transfusion and around-the-clock care.

"He would not have lived if he remained in West Africa," said Warner Greene, MD, PhD of the Accordia Global Health & Gladstone Institute.

"This is a villain of a virus," Crozier said.

On Tuesday Crozier shared his story of survival at a roundtable at UCSF Medical Center, and in front of students and staff.

His message: "There's a great deal left to be done lest we get complacent about this epidemic."

The current Ebola outbreak began a year ago in West Africa, killing more than 6,000 individuals. Those sharing the panel with Crozier urge not to fear but fight.

Crozier found out just how sick he was by reading his own medical chart, which had 160 pages documenting the extraordinary care he got at Emory.
He is recuperating at his parents home in Arizona.

The doctor has lost 30 pounds, and has some ongoing medical issues related to his infection, including memory problems as well as some strange scars on his retina.

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