Dr. Ian Thornhart arrived in Port Charles about May of 2000, after working with Doctors without Limits. Doctors Without Limits was an organization that provided medical care in Third World Countries. Ian was very critical of everything he saw going on around him at GH because it looked to him like everyone was just too self-centered and interested in their careers to be really be providing good patient care. One of the first doctors that he clashed with Dr. Eve Lambert-Collins, who had just married Dr. Kevin Collins.
Ian also struck up an acquaintance with Lucy Coe, who had just lost her daughter Christina when Christian's biological mother - Dr. Julie Devlin-Ramsey - ran off with the little girl. Lucy was married to attorney Scott Baldwin at the time, but she and Scott soon divorced. Lucy and Ian befriended someone they believed to be a teen runaway - who gave her name as Charlotte MacMillan but called herself Charlie for short. Charlie was really Olivia Locke, who turned out to be the biological daughter of Dr. Kevin Collins and Kevin's former fiancée; - Dr. Grace Reese. Olivia had been raised by her aunt Dr. Rachel Locke and Grandmother Estelle Reese - who had lied to Livvie all along about who her mother was. Rachel and Estelle blamed Kevin for Grace's death and had come to Port Charles to get revenge on Kevin.
While Ian and Lucy were helping Charlie (Livvie), Lucy was impressed by Ian's dedication to his patients and Lucy raised the money to help Ian start a free clinic. Dr. Karen Wexler, who had once been the Chief Resident, was asked to help out, since Ian was all thumbs around red tape and Karen was a whiz at cutting it.
While Ian was still trying to get the clinic up and running, he received a visit from his old friend, Dr. Melanie, from Doctors Without Limits. Melanie told Ian that someone he had fought with before leaving had changed his mind about Ian and that Ian could return to the program if he wanted to do so. Melanie indicated that, at one time, Ian and Melanie had been very close and they had planned on starting a medical mission in India together. Ian told her that he wanted to stick around Port Charles and get his clinic off the ground. (Melanie was played by Jill Murray-North, wife of Nolan North, who plays Dr. Chris Ramsey)
While working with Ian at the clinic, Eve and Ian began to notice a lot of patients who came in with blue marks - like a tattoo - on their necks. Ian and Eve eventually found that the people with the blue marks on them were indigent people that Dr. Rachel Locke was using in medical experiments to find a cure for an ailment that her mother, Estelle, was dying from - the SAME ailment that had killed Rachel's sister, Grace. Rachel was afraid that Grace's daughter, her beloved Livvie, would ALSO end up with the same disease, and Rachel wanted to find a cure to save Estelle and Livvie.
Eventually, Ian and Eve found a woman named Iris DiMarco, who told them that she remembered being held captive in a clinic where some doctors were running tests on her. Eve and Ian suspected Dr. Boardman because they believed Boardman had tried to frame Ian by having some illegal drugs delivered to Ian at the hospital. However, it was proved that, while Dr. Boardman WAS running an illegal drugs lab - he was NOT the one who had been experimenting on patients like Iris DiMarco. Ian, Eve, Lucy and Kevin finally realized it was Dr. Rachel Locke who was running the illegal experiments. Rachel was exposed and ended up in a mental hospital.
While they had been working on the mystery together, Ian and Eve had grown close and Lucy was convinced that Eve was cheating on Kevin with Ian. However, Ian decided that he had stayed in Port Charles long enough and he realized he WAS falling in love with Eve - and did NOT want to jeopardize her marriage to Kevin. But, as Ian was preparing to leave town, Eve came out to his car to talk to him and the car suddenly exploded. Everyone believed Ian and Eve were dead and Kevin went into a tailspin.
However, Ian and Eve had really been kidnapped by an old enemy of Ian's named Harris. Harris was dying and wanted Ian to come up with a cure for him and Eve just happened to be there at the time. Ian's story to Eve about his involvement with Harris was that Harris was a billionaire who was supposed to be a philanthropist who had promised to help Ian get some important medicine to some dying children in Africa. But Harris pulled a caper and stole the medicine and sold it on the black market rather than giving it to Ian for the children - so all the children died. Ian had a bracelet with 13 stones on it to represent the 13 children who had died when Harris double-crossed them. While in captivity, Ian gave the bracelet to Eve for Christmas. As Ian and Eve worked for a cure for Harris, they began to be willing to admit their attraction to each other. Finally, in a showdown, Ian killed Harris and he and Eve escaped. Once safely away from Harris' compound, in a little cabin they stumbled across, Ian and Eve finally admitted they loved each other.
Eve returned to Port Charles to tell Kevin the truth, but while she had been believed dead, Kevin had sought comfort in Lucy's arms and Lucy and Kevin were doing the Mattress Mambo on the living room floor when Eve rang the doorbell and Kevin did NOT get up to answer the door. However, as Eve went back to Ian and the waiting cab, a strange car came out of the darkness and hit Eve. Later, at the hospital, Ian realized that Eve had no memory of the time they had shared as captives at Harris' compound and that Eve planned to get back together with Kevin as quickly as she could.
In the meantime, Kevin met the woman who had hit Eve. He learned that her name was Arianna Shapour and that Arianna was an in the country illegally because she was running away from her family - who wanted to kill her. Arianna had been raped, and her family was from a culture which believed that rape victims disgrace their families and that the families should kill them to get rid of the dishonor.
As Eve made her plans for a renewal of vows ceremony with Kevin, Ian and Arianna were secretly married by a Judge in order to provide a reason for Arianna to stay in America legally. However, Arianna's powerful family did not believe the marriage was real and did everything they could to convince immigration authorities that the marriage was a sham so Arianna would be deported back to her home country. Arianna had fallen in love with Ian by this time and she wanted the marriage to be real. But by that time, Eve had regained her memory and, after telling Kevin the truth about her feelings for Ian, Kevin and Eve began the process for obtaining a divorce. With the help of the Scanlons, Ian made Arianna's brother - Ben - believe that he had killed Joe and would be charged with murder, so Ben suddenly left the country.
Not wanting to interfere with Ian's attempts to rescue Arianna, Eve decided she needed a vacation and went to visit Tirama Island - the island that Ian had told her about when they were captives of Harris. While Eve was there, the chief's son became ill and Eve tried to take care of him, but came down with the disease herself. Ian suddenly appeared, having been summoned previously by his old friend, the Chief, to treat his son. Ian was able to save Eve's life and while they were on the Island and under the spell of an Island Herb called Morka, Ian and Eve had visions of past lives they had spent together. Eve remembered a past life in which Ian was a soldier, who had been killed in World War I, before they could be married. And they both remembered a past life in Paris, where Ian was a painter who had been hired by Eve's wealthy husband to paint her portrait. While they were working on the portrait, Eve and Ian fell in love, but Eve's jealous husband found them together and shot Eve. Eve died in Ian's arms in that lifetime. Eve and Ian promised that they would be with each other in this lifetime and Ian promised Eve that he would get Victor to help Arianna find a way to a safe house, where she would be out of reach of her family.
However, by the time that Ian and Eve returned to Port Charles, Arianna's brother Ben had realized he had been tricked and returned to continue to make trouble for Arianna. However, Aranna and Ian continued to make plans for Arianna to go away with Victor's friends and Ian and Eve found themselves making love in one of the beds at the hospital on the same night that Ben broke into the Thornhart apartment and stabbed Arianna almost to death. Arianna survived, but her liver was badly damaged and she needed a donor right away. Ben bragged to authorities about his part in getting rid of his 'wicked' sister, and Kevin had him held for psychiatric evaluation. However, Ben escaped and was killed in a fall from the hospital roof as he fought with Kevin.
As Ian worried about Arianna's health, Eve discovered she was pregnant and, not wanting to make Ian deal with any more guilt, decided to go away - back to their cabin in the woods - to make decisions about her future. Chris found out about what was worrying Eve and proposed to her - but, after thinking it over, Eve turned Chris' proposal down.
As Ian tried to decide what to do about Arianna and about Eve, he began to have visions of his deceased sister Granya - and Granya urged him to follow his heart.
Dr. Karen Wexler turned out to be a perfect match for Arianna, Karen made the donation, Arianna's life was saved and Ian went in search of Eve.
Ian finally found Eve in the woods, only Eve had met Priest Michael Morley, who was restoring a monastery near the cabin. Ian and Eve returned to Port Charles, where Ian learned that Arianna had recovered enough to travel, had left with Victor's friends and had left behind annulment papers for Ian, so that Ian could start a new life with Eve.
Unfortunately, Michael was really the split personality of Vampire Caleb Morley. But, long before Eve and Ian realized that, they decided that Michael should perform their marriage ceremony and the marriage service was performed at the monastery.
When Michael turned up in Port Charles, Ian began to be suspicious of Michael's feelings for Eve. By the time Ian realized that Michael did not really have a twin brother named Caleb but was really the split personality of Caleb the Vampire, and that Caleb wanted to claim Eve's son as his own to start a family with Livvie, most of the town was being threatened by Caleb.
When Eve thought at one point that she was going into premature labor, Ian told her a story about a brave little boy name Daniel who went off on adventures. After everyone believed that Caleb had been killed by a thunderbolt from heaven, Eve went into labor for real, and Ian, realizing that Michael had never really been a priest, found a minister in the hallway, so that Ian and Eve were married just before their son Daniel was born. Daniel was named after the boy in the story Ian told Eve when she was worried about losing the baby.
Unfortunately, Caleb was not really dead and Livvie's fascination with Caleb soon brought him back to life and Caleb vowed revenge on all the people who had stood in his way before - he wanted to break up all the happy couples of Port Charles, and that included Ian and Eve.
In part of his plan to destroy Ian and Eve's happiness, Caleb made sure that Eve found out about a woman Ian had been in love with back in Africa - named Anne Marie. When Eve found a picture of Anne Marie in the trash at the Thornhart Apartment, Ian told her that Anne Marie was a nurse who worked with him in Doctors Without Limits and that she was married to an abusive husband. As Ian and Anne Marie worked closely together, she began to confide in him and they decided they were in love. Ian urged her to leave her husband, but her husband caught Ian and Ann Marie together one day and began to beat Anne Marie. Ian exploded and fought with her husband, striking a blow that killed him. Going into hysterics about the fight, Anne Marie ran out into the road and was hit by a car and died in Ian's arms.
However, Caleb had Livvie morph into Anne Marie and visit Kevin and Eve with a far different story. In Caleb's version, Anne Marie and her husband were just having communication problems. Then, Ian paid some villagers to 'kidnap' them and, while Ian and Anne Marie were supposedly kidnapped together, she began to fall in love with him. However, her husband found where they were and showed up to expose Ian as a fraud. Ian got angry and hit her husband and killed him and, as Anne Marie ran away from Ian, she was hit by a car. She was badly scarred by her accident, but begged her doctors to tell Ian that she was dead so he would leave her alone.
This created a rift between Ian and Eve, and between Kevin and Lucy, since Eve and Kevin believed Anne Marie's story but Lucy believed what Ian was saying. Posing as Anne Marie, Livvie kidnapped Danny and then arranged for Eve to find Ian with Danny so that Eve believed Ian planned to kidnap their son and flee the country with him.
While Ian and Lucy were feeling blue because their significant others did not seem to believe them, Ian and Lucy landed in bed together. Unfortunately for them, Kevin had hired a private investigator to follow Ian and the P.I. managed to get some pretty intimate photos of Ian and Lucy together. Kevin did not intend to ever let Eve know what he knew, but Caleb managed to make sure that Eve saw the incriminating photos any way.
Eventually, Livvie turned on Caleb and killed him again and confessed to everyone that she had been Anne Marie and that all of the story she had told to Eve and to Kevin about Ian and Anne Marie was a lie.
As Christmas arrived, Lucy and Kevin invited everyone to a Christmas party, but Rafe had arranged for everything to work out so that Lucy and Kevin got married. At the same time, there was a brilliant flash of light in the sky and three new women came to town - Amy, Paige and Casey. Victor found some scorched earth outside of town and the townspeople all believed that space aliens had arrived. However, the women were really angels. But one of them was a dark angel, who had arrived on a mission to extract revenge. The dark angel turned out to be Amy - who was blind but who was also actually the daughter of Ian's old enemy - Harris. Amy immediately began making a play for Ian and thought, briefly, that Ian might actually love her and be willing to leave Eve, but when Ian informed Amy that he and Eve were getting their relationship back on an even keel, Amy bitterly vowed to the Shade of Dad Harris that she WOULD succeed in making Ian pay for her father's death.