Rep. Dan Crenshaw talks emergency eye surgery and recovery ahead

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw is on the road to recovery and is optimistic about his sight returning to normal after emergency surgery for a detached retina.

Eyewitness News spoke with the representative on Wednesday via Skype, who said he hopes to be back in action soon.

"I never had a good eye," he told ABC13 via from his Houston home. "Everybody sees me in public and thinks, 'Well, he's got one eye. At least he's got one eye.' Well, that's never really been true. I've always had extensive damage to my one eye, and that scar tissue had built up in my eye from the damage over the years and eventually caused it to detach."

READ MORE: Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw recovering from emergency eye surgery

The second-term Republican congressman, who represents Texas' second district, lost his right eye during a bomb explosion in Afghanistan while serving with the Navy SEALs in 2012. His left eye requires specific contacts or severe glasses.

Crenshaw has no natural lens and likens his vision to someone with a cataract. But weeks ago, it got worse.

"The left half of my vision was closing in," Crenshaw explained. "The retina was peeling off. It's like a poster on your wall peeling off. Luckily, it didn't fall off. If it had fallen off, I would have gone blind immediately."

He credits his doctors at the Houston VA hospital for an outstanding job. For seven days, he was forced to sit face down and couldn't travel for six weeks.


Crenshaw won't risk the increased pressure in the gas bubble inserted to help the retina.

"The retina looks like it's in a good place," he said. "So, I am optimistic that I'll get back to my sense of normal. Again, that's very different than your sense of normal, but my sense of normal is what I'm hoping for. "

Crenshaw is also a best-selling author. In his book, Fortitude, he spoke about resilience and self-reliance, personal responsibility and having a positive attitude.

"It was terrifying, but it can always be worse," he said. "That's what perspective is. America needs a lot more of that these days. It could always be worse, and you always deal with it better. That's an important reminder when going through tough times."

He said that's what he takes from this experience. The congressman hopes to be on the road again by the end of May, but his office never shut down. They continue to the people's business, and he can participate remotely in much of the daily Capitol Hill work, for now.

To watch Rep. Crenshaw's full interview, watch it now on ABC13 using your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."

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