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Savannah Sellers suffers serious eye injury after exercise band accident

The Morning News NOW co-anchor is suffering a serious eye injury after an exercise band hit her in the face when she was working out.
/ Source: TODAY

Savannah Sellers, an NBC News correspondent and co-anchor on Morning News NOW, seriously hurt her eye after an exercise band hit her in the face while she was working out.

"It's truly a freak accident," she told TODAY. "I'm like, mind blown myself but I'm OK. All I've heard a million times from these doctors is how lucky I am and it could have been so much worse."

Savannah Sellers on TODAY on Oct. 9, 2019.Nathan Congleton / NBCUniversal

"When it hit me, I thought that something maybe fell from above on me," she said. "My whole head hurt, from my eyes up, and I couldn't see at all. I was just completely disoriented. I don't even know what really happened but it was just so forceful."

Sellers said she immediately experienced a loss of vision in her left eye, so she quickly found a doctor to get checked out. Since then, she has been diagnosed with three conditions: commotio retinae, choroidal rupture and angle recession. Her doctor told her, "I know that sounds scary but I also don't want you to go Google all those terms."

For now, there is a lot of blood and swelling in her eye that are preventing doctors from making a full diagnosis. She has been asked to rest but to come back in 10 days so they can decide at that time if she will need to do laser surgery to repair any tears that may have happened.

Savannah Sellers

While she felt it was a freak accident, her doctor revealed it actually may be a little more common than some think. He said he has seen a number of eye injuries due to elastic workout bands the last few months, especially since people are working out a lot more at home during the pandemic. One of those injuries was "very serious."

"He even recommended wearing safety goggles when using them," she added.

Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid suffered a similar injury on New Years Day in 2015 after his grip slipped and he fell while using a flexible device, the Associated Press previously reported.

Sellers has turned to the other Savannah (Guthrie) in the NBC News family, who coincidently and unfortunately also experienced severe eye trauma when her son Charley hit her in the face with a toy train. Guthrie has been giving Sellers advice on what to do and Sellers said this has really helped her during this trying time.

"Seeing the other Savannah’s incredible recovery is giving me hope," Sellers said. "And I feel lucky to have a friend to turn to for advice on a subject you’d never hope to become an expert on."

For now, Sellers' message for others is to be careful when working out with this equipment, but also to "count your blessings."

"It was just really high impact so it is kind of a bad situation but if my head would have been one more centimeter down facing the ground I might have really lost my vision so that's, you know, something to be happy about," she said.

"I know it's not as bad as it could be and the hope is that on its own, my vision will return after the swelling goes down. My doctor does have faith that I will go completely back to normal. So I'm just trying to focus on that."