Leon Harris Goes Back to Work After Fighting Deadly Illness

WJLA news anchor makes improbable recover from a near-fatal illness.
3:06 | 09/09/13

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Transcript for Leon Harris Goes Back to Work After Fighting Deadly Illness
We're back at 7:42. A medical marvel, really. Our colleague, lee kron harris, of wjla died twice and was pulled back from the brink by a vision he says rescued him. He's healthy now and completes his incredible comeback tonight. Abc's claire shipman has the story. Reporter: For 18 years, he's been giving the news. ON THE MORNING OF AUGUST 1st, HE Was the one making the news. He collapsed in excruciating abdominal pain. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. Reporter: Air lifted to johns hopkins, doctors made the diagnosis. Acute necrotizing pancreatitis. His lungs were filling with fluid. It looks as if a bomb had gone off in the area where the p pancreas resides. Reporter: He drifted in and out of consciousness. He said, you know people died from this. When he said that, I lost it. Oy just completely lost it. Reporter: And it sounds as though there was one moment where you really thought you were not going to make it and you -- more than one. Reporter: More than one. On two days. I died. I zeroed out. They revived me. I got sick and tired of trying to breathe being on a ventilator. It's like trying to snorkel across a lake, breathing through a cocktail straw. I said, okay, I can't live like this. This sit. I'm ready. I'm ready to die. I closed my eyes. I saw dawn's face, smiling at me, and I said, I can't quit on her. If I quit on her, I'm going to go to hell. And if I go the hell, I'm not going for quitting. Reporter: What happened after harris's vision of dawn is something he calls miraculous. Just as suddenly as the pancreatitis ravaged his body, it subsided. Now home, he has half a pancreas left but it's functioning well. Tonight, he'll take his place at the anchor desk. I died twice on the table. I'm still here. God kicked my butt out of heaven twice. So I'm supposed to be here. I can't quit. Find a reason not to quit. Reporter: For "good morning america," claire shipman, abc news, washington. It's still a mystery as to how he contracted the illness. Warning signs of similar to food poising. Why acaute cases go undiagnosed. He's coming back. Wjla tonight. Check him out. You saw the love. You saw the spirit. What a spirit he has. Found a way to quote diana nyad. Found a way. Coming up, one of the youngest miss americas ever

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