Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said on Saturday morning that he has received troubling medical news about his eye that required him to undergo surgery, which will render him effectively blind for a month.
Crenshaw, who made the announcement in a statement that he posted to Twitter, said that he started to notice “dark, blurry spots” in his vision a couple of days ago and that a subsequent visit to an ophthalmologist revealed that his retina was detaching.
“This is a terrifying prognosis for someone with one eye, and the nature of the injuries that I sustained in Afghanistan,” Crenshaw said. “Anyone who knows the history of my injuries knows that I don’t have a ‘good eye,’ but half a good eye. The blast from 2012 caused a cataract, excessive tissue damage, and extensive damage to my retina. It was always a possibility that the effects of the damage to my retina would resurface, and it appears that is exactly what has happened. The prognosis I received on Thursday is obviously very bad.”
Crenshaw said that his wife took him to have emergency surgery on Friday morning and that he will be “effectively blind for about a month.”
“I want to especially thank the phenomenal team of doctors and nurses at the VA who took such good care of me. During the surgery they put a gas bubble in my eye, which acts as a bandage for my retina. This means I have to be facedown for the next week or so, unable to see anything,” Crenshaw said. “This is why you’re not going to hear from me for a while. I likely will not be conducting interviews and likely will not be posting on social media, except to give updates on my health and recovery.”
Crenshaw said that his offices will continue to operate at normal capacity, minus his presence, as he recovers over the next several weeks.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to the news by calling Crenshaw “a fighter” and saying that the Texas congressman would win his latest medical challenge that stems from an injury that Crenshaw sustained when he was a U.S. Navy SEAL serving overseas.
Numerous Republicans and conservatives, along with a small number of those on the political left, responded to the news by offering up their thoughts and prayers for Crenshaw.
Crenshaw, 37, served in five deployments overseas as a Navy SEAL. Six months into his third deployment in 2012, Crenshaw was severely injured during an IED blast in Afghanistan. Doctors thought that he would be permanently blind in both eyes, but he regained vision in his left eye, which he says was “a miracle according to the head surgeon.” Crenshaw retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 2016 after serving as a Navy SEAL for a decade. He has received numerous awards for his service, including “two Bronze Stars (one with Valor), the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor, among others.”
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