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. jinko

    from proverbs 13:32
    "follow me unto the light for that is where love and death bear a child named caledonia and he shall beset a crown of 27 jewels, his arms shall be as horses and his words shall be of wings festooned with gold templates, the flight of the soul knoweth the meaning of the light for in jeshia land shall there be the seven fingers of heaven. believe and cherish all that is earthly for heaven knoweth the angels of yafarinod saying the fire bush of the blind eyes are the songs of Solomons temple" – the profesy is fulfilled, rejoice!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  2. Chris

    Why is this news? Lots of stupid people do stupid things all the time. Next.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  3. portalpunk

    If he drank whisky and hung out with wild women then his immune system probably would of fought that nasty sting off.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  4. Pete

    Pastor Rick's physical blindness is temporary. Unfortunately, many of you are spiritually blind and i fear it could be permanent.
    It's time to open your eyes to God's grace and goodness while you still can.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  5. RM215

    Making jokes about someone being hurt is just evil, no matter what you claim to believe in.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  6. Simple Jack

    Obama's fault

    July 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Middle America

    I'm praying for you Rick. Hope you get well soon.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  8. Jason

    Read between the lines people! This man clearly was sleeping around with a redhead and cought an std in the eyes. This is just a way of breaking it to his public with out effecting his sales. THE END IS NEIGH!

    July 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • ML

      Great post!!!!

      July 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  9. portalpunk

    That must be some nasty bush he had his face in.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jason

      damnit, beat me to it by 2 minutes...

      July 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  10. Simple Jack

    I just ate a vanilla cupcake for lunch

    July 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  11. christopher

    Admit it, when you saw this headline you saw G. W. with a cigar burning some preachers eyes! And I'm a republican!

    July 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Simple Jack

      lmao glad I wasn't the only one

      July 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  12. PHIL

    MIKE More people have been killed in the name of atheisim than for any other reason.... you nuts are ridiculous .
    ATHEISIM IS A JOKE ! S o if your an atheist you condone the murder of innocent people basically.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  13. Yinka

    Now you need to contribute money to the pastor's eye recovery fund 🙂

    July 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Toaster

    I don't think "reigious" people actually think there really is a god. I think they just want to fight about something. The idea of a God is rediculous... My Free will and my brain tell me so.. Let's see some hard evidence....

    July 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  15. mattgordonmd

    He couldn't con mother nature.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  16. oda155

    ...and we're absolutely sure that this was not the "burning bush"...

    July 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  17. Brian


    It's not an argument. And it's definitely not about you and me. It's a question that has eternal consequences for everyone. Not "Coke or Pepsi" consequences, right? There are many books out there which speak to the "evidence" you are searching for. I encourage you to read them and come to your own conclusions based on what you find. It's not for my benefit. I get no financial reward, and I don't get to go to heaven based on what you choose. I recommend Lee Strobel's "A Case for Christ" as an interesting read. He felt the same way.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Lee

      Brian...It's nice of you to assume that I haven't studied and researched this to quite an extent. I recommend that you read the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Science is a powerful thing!

      July 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  18. Tanbiker2

    It sounds like Pastor Rick just received a warning message from God just as Moses did on Mount Sinai. The message said stop doing evil things or I will strike you blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  19. Jeepers

    So would you call that a burning bush?

    July 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  20. Patriot1942

    "Bush burns Pastor Rick Warren's eyes ", yeah, yeah, just like Obama, blame it on Bush...........

    July 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
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.