Peace Corps volunteer returns home after Ebola scare

SACRAMENTO - As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has claimed more than 900 lives, evacuated Peace Corps workers have returned to the United States. One of them is a Peace Corps volunteer who was training in Sierra Leone but is now back home in the Sacramento region.

Ben Crawley, 23, is from Cameron Park. He was supposed to teach math to students in Sierra Leone. He was there for about six weeks when he had to suddenly evacuate.

"That was definitely a very surreal moment," Crawley said.

"I felt sad for him but, it was like 'woohoo for mom' because I was getting my kid back and getting him out of danger," mom Cyndi Crawley said.

Crawley said he lived about 50 to 100 miles from the people who died from the Ebola virus. But he said he never truly feared for his safety.

"In Bo, there were a handful of people who died from Ebola. But we were never anywhere near them," Crawley said. "Ebola is definitely there. Realistically speaking, none of us were really at risk. We were never scared of getting it. We maybe were scared for other people."

He said the most susceptible to Ebola were those living in villages and the medical staff who treated those with Ebola. He said that is because the disease is not airborne like the flu or a common cold. It's spread strictly through body fluids like blood and vomit. And it's only contagious when a person is symptomatic.

Crawley says he's not sure when Peace Corps will be sending him and other volunteers back to the region. Health experts say it could take up to six months to eradicate Ebola.

"We're just waiting for the Peace Corps to send us back. We're hoping for a quick return," he said.


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