Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, the former Navy Seal who lost his right eye in an explosion while serving in the Navy in Afghanistan, said on Saturday he has to take a month-long leave of absence from Congress after having emergency surgery for a detaching retina in his other eye.
“The surgery went well, but I will be effectively blind for about a month,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter. He said his congressional offices will remain open but apologized to constituents for being “pretty much off the grid for the next few weeks.”
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 10, 2021
Crenshaw, 37, a former Navy lieutenant commander who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said the retina in his left eye appeared to be detaching as a result of extensive damage suffered in a 2012 attack in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
“Anyone who knows the history of my injuries knows that I don’t have a ‘good eye,’ but half a good eye,” Crenshaw said in the statement. During the surgery, he wrote, “they put a gas bubble in my eye, which acts as a bandage for my retina. This means I have to be face-down for the next week or so, unable to see anything.”
“This is a terrifying prognosis for someone with one eye,” he added. “I have gotten through worse before, and I will get through this.”
Crenshaw, who wears an eyepatch, made national headlines in 2018 when comedian Pete Davidson mocked his appearance on Saturday Night Live. The joke was widely criticized. But Crenshaw appeared on the show alongside Davidson a week later to accept his apology.