Reid’s Doctors Optimistic About Prospects for Regaining Vision
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is alert
and in good spirits after successful surgery to remove a blood
clot from his right eye caused by an exercising accident, his
“Doctors have said they are optimistic about his prospects
for regaining vision in his right eye but there is no definitive
verdict yet,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement
The three-and-a-half hour surgery at George Washington
University Hospital “was successful in removing the blood clot
in his right eye, additional blood from the front of his right
eye and repairing the orbital bones in his right brow, temple
and cheek,” Jentleson said.
Reid, who was under full anesthesia for the procedure, was
alert afterward and staying informed on Senate business,
including counting support before a procedural vote on
legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, according to
“Senator Reid was released from the hospital this
afternoon and is currently sitting in his living room with Mrs.
evening’s vote on the Keystone pipeline legislation,” Jentleson
In addition to broken facial bones near his right eye
socket that had impaired his vision, Reid also suffered a
concussion and broken ribs in the Jan. 1 accident while
Reid became minority leader this month after Republicans
won control of the Senate in the November election. Before that,
he served as majority leader for eight years.
The Nevada Democrat told reporters last week that he plans
to return to work full time Feb. 2 and that doctors are
optimistic he’ll make a full recovery. He repeated plans to seek
re-election in 2016.
“Senator Reid will recuperate from his residence this week
and continue to monitor the Senate floor closely through
meetings and phone calls with his fellow senators, the White
House and staff,” Jentleson said Monday.
Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in
the chamber, has filled in for Reid on the Senate floor, while
Reid has worked from his home or office.
Prior to today’s surgery, Reid, 75, could see only light
with his right eye, said a Senate Democratic leadership aide who
asked for anonymity to provide details that weren’t public.
Reid said last week that the vision in his left eye is
20/20 and that he had resumed a modified exercise routine that
includes walking for as long as an hour.
This is one of several hospital visits for Reid in the past
10 years. He suffered a mild stroke in August 2005 while in his
hometown of Searchlight, Nevada.
Also, Reid was taken to a hospital in October 2012 with
minor injuries when his motorcade was involved in an accident in
Las Vegas. In May 2011, Reid fell while running in Washington
and dislocated his right shoulder.
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Kathleen Hunter in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jodi Schneider at