(CNN) — Rep. Dan Crenshaw says he is “hopeful and confident” in his recovery after undergoing emergency eye surgery earlier this month, but cautioned he has “a while to go.”
“I can lift my head again and no longer have to position myself face down which is a relief. This is obviously good news, but it doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet,” the Texas Republican wrote in a statement Friday.
“I still cannot see much other than lights and shadows, basically, as I am still in the early stages of my recovery. I am not sure how my vision will be in a few weeks, but I am hopeful and confident that it will return to normal,” he continued.
The congressman underwent emergency surgery at DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston to re-attach his left retina. Crenshaw said Friday that surgeons put a “silicon buckle” around his retina and used a laser to “glue” around the retina’s edges.
“When they did that, they needed to keep my retina in place, which is why they injected a gas bubble into my eye to act as a bandage for my retina and prevent further detaching,” he explained. “This is why I cannot see anything right now and won’t be able to see for the next few weeks until the gas bubble dissipates.”
On his third deployment as a US Navy SEAL in 2012, Crenshaw lost his right eye after he was hit by an IED blast in Afghanistan. That blast also caused a cataract, excessive tissue damage and extensive damage to his left retina, he said. Crenshaw recovered and ultimately deployed twice more before he was medically retired in 2016.
Crenshaw noted that he is unable to fly for at least six weeks, but will remain engaged on legislative issues. The congressman’s offices in Washington and Houston “continue to function as normal,” he said.
“I am staying up to date on legislation in the House, but I still will not be posting on social media or conducting interviews for the time being,” he said.
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