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Navy SEAL vet Rep. Crenshaw to be blind for a month after eye surgery

Congressman Dan Crenshaw speaks at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event in Austin on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN, TNS).
April 12, 2021

On Monday, former U.S. Navy SEAL turned congressman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) announced he would be blind for about the next month after undergoing emergency eye surgery.

Crenshaw, who lost his right eye in an IED blast during a 2012 mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan, announced in a press release that he had begun to notice vision problems in his remaining left eye. Following the surgery, Crenshaw said, “I will be pretty much off the grid for the next few weeks.”

“A few days ago, I noticed some dark, blurry spots in my vision, which seemed out of the ordinary. I went to get this checked out by an ophthalmologist on Thursday and they discovered that my retina was detaching,” Crenshaw said. “This is a terrifying prognosis for someone with one eye, and the nature of the injuries that I sustained in Afghanistan. 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.”

Crenshaw said he underwent emergency surgery on Friday morning at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

“The surgery went well, but I will be effectively blind for about a month,” Crenshaw said.

The surgery Crenshaw underwent entails the insertion of a gas bubble that he said acts as a sort of bandage for his damaged retina. In order for the bubble to hold, Crenshaw said he has to remain face down for the next couple of weeks.

“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.

Crenshaw said his Houston and Washington D.C. offices will cotinue to operate and any constituents needing assistance can still contact those offices.

“I have gotten through worse before, and I will get through this,” Crenshaw said.

While Crenshaw announced that his wife Tara will be by his side during the recovery process, he said, “A few prayers that my vision will get back to normal and that I will make a full recovery wouldn’t hurt, though, and would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your thoughts, prayers, and support.”