On Thursday afternoon, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) was present at a public House committee hearing for the first time since he underwent emergency surgery and lost the ability to see in his left eye.
Crenshaw was able to virtually attend the House Energy and Commerce meeting, and stated that while he still could not see everyone, he was hoping that he might be able to see people again in just a few weeks and would be back to normal “within a couple of months.”
In a separate video update about his eye on social media, Crenshaw stated that he has been able to start attending virtual congressional hearings.
“Even a blind knuckle-dragger can do committee hearings,” said Crenshaw in the video. “So no worries there, Tara and I are fine, we’re having a good time, I’ve listened to countless audiobooks by this point, and you know what, we’re really appreciative of all of the well-wishes, all the prayers, it really helps. Thank you, we’ll be back in the fight soon.”
He went on to describe what the vision in his left eye has been like in the past few days, stating: “If you want to get an idea of what I see, imagine putting on a dive mask — and of course, blocking out one-half of it — and then inject some kind of bubbly soapy solution into it so you’re seeing through bubbles, and then wipe the outer lens with some vaseline for good measure. That’s sort of what I see.”
The Texan congressman went on to say that his doctors seem optimistic about the health and recovery of his left eye. “I’ve been to various follow-up appointments by now and the retina is staying in place, which means we’re hopeful I’ll return to some sense of normalcy in the next couple of months, which means I can correct my vision basically back to normal again,” continued Crenshaw.
Quick update on my recovery and how I am doing! pic.twitter.com/d2IjG5ODRh
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) April 29, 2021
While Crenshaw has released written statements giving updates about his recovery process after he had the emergency surgery earlier this month, this was the first video update.
Early this month, Crenshaw stated that he had started seeing “dark, blurry spots,” and when he went to an ophthalmologist a few days later, he learned 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,” he stated.
“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 continued.
Crenshaw lost his right eye in an IED explosion during a third deployment and the sight in his left eye, which was also damaged, was only restored after several rounds of surgery. He went on to serve through two more deployments after that and then retired from the U.S. Navy in 2016, reported Dallas News.