CofC president back at work after battling Lyme Disease

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- College of Charleston President George Benson is now back at work after being hospitalized for Lyme disease last month.

He was at Medical University Hospital for two weeks and then spent another week at Roper Rehabilitation working on getting his strength back.

"Typically Lyme Disease stops with the blood. Mine went on into the spinal fluid, which means it affected the muscles and the strength of my shoulder and legs and arms, so that is what I'm trying to build up right now," said College of Charleston President George Benson.

A week after being hospitalized for unknown reasons, Benson released a statement.

"A week ago, I wrote to let you know that I had been hospitalized as a result of serious back pain. While I have had back problems in the past, I was not certain what was causing this pain. Addressing this problem has been more challenging than I initially expected," he wrote. "The symptoms for Lyme Disease vary significantly from one person to another, which explains why Lyme Disease can be difficult to diagnose. Many people respond quickly to the available treatments for Lyme Disease, and they fully recover in short order. My case may be a little more complicated, which could draw out my recovery time. In addition, for the next few days my current treatment has to be administered in a hospital setting."

But the three weeks that he was out of the office, he still was very involved in every day affairs at the college.

"Somebody wrote me a letter and said my goodness I understand you are running the College of Charleston from a bed at MUSC, which I thought was fairly interesting but I wasn't really running the college from there but certainly we were having meetings and participating in conference calls," said Benson.{}

He says he had wonderful support from his staff.

"My chief of staff for example came to the hospital every day and we met for an hour to two hours going over university business and it was awesome," said Benson. "My style of management has been to hire the best people possible and let them do their thing and we do it as a team."

He is still using a walker and going to physical therapy two hours a week. A full recovery is expected in several months...usually three to six months after you contract the bacteria.

Earlier this month Benson announced that he was stepping down as President of CofC to take up a position on the business school's faculty in 2014.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off