Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned
July 22nd, 2010
12:34 PM ET

Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is home recovering after his eyes were burned as he pruned a firestick plant in his yard, his spokesman told CNN Thursday.

Warren was hospitalized Monday after the incident and released Tuesday, said his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. Warren is expected to make a full recovery, Ross said.

"My eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," Warren wrote in a Twitter message Thursday morning. "Hospitalized Mon. Excruciating pain. Now home. Pray my sight loss is restored."

Though the pain was initially so intense that Warren could not open his eyes on Monday, he was seeing well enough Thursday to send the Tweet himself, Ross said. "The pain was excruciating - 12 on a scale of 1 through 10," Ross said. "It's now down to an 8."

Warren was pruning shrubs in the yard of his Southern California home when he wiped his eyes after picking up leaves from a firestick plant, Ross said.

The sap of the firestick is toxic and can cause skin irritation and temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, according to the website gardenguides.com. The firestick is a succulent with spiky orange branches.

Warren is currently on leave from his church, called Saddleback, to write a book, so the injury is not expected to affect his public schedule, Ross said.

"A doctor put protective contacts on my corneas as bandages during the healing," Warren said in another Tweet on Thursday. "I am NOT blind."

The firestick is found around the world, Ross said, and grows well in Southern California.

"Pastor Rick, an avid gardener, purchased it locally himself," Ross said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders

soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. whatdunit

    The bush is his cover story. Unfettered pastor-bation was the culprit.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Mike

    More people have been killed in the name of GOD than for any other reason...you religious nuts are ridiculous.

    RELIGION IS A JOKE! So if you're religious you tcondone the murder of innocent people basically.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  3. AndyF

    I really thought the headlines would lead me to a story of how either George H. Bush or Dubya disrobed in front of Rev Warren.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • abl123

      Ok, Ewwwwwwww! MY EYES!! MY EYES!!!!!!!!! LOL

      July 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  4. Ed

    Gee what goes around comes around. So much for the narastic hedionstic self center bag of s*&t. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Does this mean he can't drive his Bently and see his gold toilet paper to wipe his precious ass.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  5. Mike

    When will you people stop thinking like cavemen?

    Religion is bogus. It was created by ANCIENT MAN not GOD.

    Keep throwing your money to these churches people. You are fools.

    The BIBLE was written by MAN not GOD.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  6. Scott

    Too bad he didn't sit on the plant.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Jason

      LOL! Thanks for that, i needed a good laugh.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  7. bwrobinson

    Why would former president bush do such a thing!

    July 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  8. Ladrikius

    Am I the only one that saw the byline and thought someone was blaming W for this?

    July 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  9. Sarcasmo

    I love how he's talking about being blind because of this. $30 worth of hallelujahs says his vision gets miraculously restored again.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Doritos

    Oh I thought the headline was saying George Bush burned his eyes out....I was expecting to see an article that Bush stabbed his two eyes with his fingers dipped in hot sauce.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  11. commoncents

    As an Atheist i am inclined to look at this "news story" for what it is; A guy bought a plant he knew was toxic, planted it and touched the leaves and then rubbed his eyes. he is just an average idiot. it also said he will make a full recovery, so stop your whining!
    "Religion is a crutch for the weak minded" -Jesse Ventura

    July 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Rino

    His "eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," he said... Does anybody know of any non-toxic poisons?

    July 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  13. natalie

    I thought this article would be about President Bush throwing acid into his face. Tease.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  14. Marnie

    Somewhere there's a burning bush joke here.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • abl123

      Keep reading...there are a million in here.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  15. D. B.


    July 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  16. Doug

    First Glenn Beck says he's going blind and now Rick Warren (melodramatically) says he might have. I'd always known they were both figuratively blind but now they face literal risks as well. . .? The Lord works in mysterious ways, indeed. If they were believers in the old testament God maybe they'd be fearful that this was about retribution and punishment, but alas, these guys are bigger worshipers of a distinctively more tangible deity: money.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  17. tintin

    damn I thought W had burned his eyes...way to sensationalize this new, CNN

    July 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  18. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    I'm so sorry he was injured. I hope this doesn't cost him too much from his entertainment business that depends on him so much.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  19. Matt

    So – what requires more faith – that all of the complexity that we see around us – all of the diversity of life – came about because some gas particles collided in space billions of years ago, or that is was created by a supreme being? I know which one requires moral accountability to that being. And by the way – where did the two gas particles come from? And for that matter, where did the Universe come from?

    July 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Ralph Malph

      I know a place where gas particles are escaping from.

      And they smell like dinner.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Lee

      Matt, why don't you tell me where the gas particles came from? Ohh, I forgot. The bible doens't cover any facts or evidence of anything, right? The people whose words you follow so closely, also thought the earth was flat...are you gonna try to convinve me of that too?

      July 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  20. CubanMom

    Atheists make me laugh! You can turn an article about a man's eyes burning after pruning a bush into an argument about GOD!

    July 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • abl123

      Um, I'm going to assert that the reason that the conversation is about religion is because Mr. Warren has established himself as a religious authority while condemning those vast segments of society which do not meet his (= God's) approval. That sort of behavior invites retribution from those who see him as a persecutor.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.