Local anchor returning to work after weeks in hospital

Leon Harris visits the WJLA studios Thursday. (Courtesy ABC7/Twitter)

WASHINGTON – After spending several weeks in intensive care, ABC7 anchor Leon Harris is set to return to the newsdesk Monday.

ABC7 reports that Harris suffered a life-threatening case of necrotizing pancreatitis, or a severely inflamed pancreas. His illness began suddenly Aug. 1 when he awoke with a terrible pain in his stomach and vomited several times.

His wife found him balled up in their Maryland home and rushed him to the hospital.

He spent almost two weeks in intensive care. He also suffered partial kidney failure and his heart stopped twice, the station reported.

Harris has not appeared on-air in more than a month as he battled for his life. He is set to return to work Monday, ABC7 says.

Harris still faces surgery to remove tissue damaged from the pancreatitis.

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Leon Harris will talk to WTOP about his life-threatening battle with pancreatitis at 5:10 p.m. Friday.

He lost weight and is still weak but he is grateful to be alive, he says.

“I feel like I got a second chance,” Harris told ABC7.

Harris joined ABC7 after spending 20 years with CNN in Atlanta. He anchors the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts with Alison Starling.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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