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. Elaine

    Hatred leads to more hatred. This guy said gays deserve AIDs and other hateful things like that. Of course people are going to laugh when something bad happens to him. I'm not saying he deserves what he got since I don't believe in Karma, but I am saying I'm saving my sympathy for people who deserve it. Hateful posts from people on this article may not be right, but it is completely understandable. I'm not surprised at all!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • abl123

      OMG– Did he actually say that gay people deserve to get AIDS??? Seriously? That's even worse than what I had heard. I hope that's not true. That's terrible.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  2. Joey

    Heh, millionaire television pastor. All you religious freaks who support this man are a joke. I wonder if I went up to him and asked for food if I was hungry... would he give it to me? Probably not. Would the Biblical character Jesus? Christians want to believe so. Regardless, this man is a phony.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • John

      He does not now nor has he ever had a TV program. He is not a "TV evangelist". He has made derisive comments many times of the caricature you are trying to portray. You are allowing a prejudice to make accusations you can't back up.

      July 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  3. Brian

    He has just been Rick rolled – LoL

    July 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Steve

    How does he write on his Twitter page if he can't see? And have you ever been behind someone who has one of his bumper stickers on their car? Those people can't drive. And just to set the record straight, God is an imaginary friend for grown-ups. No one has ever seen him. He doesn't exist. It's a fallacy. Wake up people!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  5. pilotmech

    Rick....send me 20 dollars and Ill send you a prayer cloth....place the cloth over your eyes....and I promise you....something will happen

    July 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  6. DP2010

    So, what are the pros of a firestick plant. Why would anyone have one?

    July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • PHIL

      GREAT, ifyou run out of bullets.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  7. mark from dover

    it was the Bush's fault!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  8. TheRadicalLiberal

    Ah, so wisdom and truth are only valid if they "do something for you". Again we see the difference betweent he atheist and the believer. We are happy to accept the truth no matter if it is good for us or not. The only "truth" you will accept is that which makes you feel good about yourself. How selfish and egocentric and completely un-Jesus-like you are.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  9. hatchB650

    "My eyes were burned by a very toxic poison." Hmmm....is there such thing as a Non-toxic poison? That's like saying "I was burned by a very hot fire." or "I was soaked by very wet water." (...and this guy owns a mega-church?)

    July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  10. JohnnyInSNJ

    Publicity stunt. Had to tweet it himself just to get it out there in hopes the AP would pick it up. I'm forecasting a 100% chance of a 100% recovery, with a storm of interviews, commercials, and PSAs about the danger of firestick plants

    July 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  11. boocat

    Man – everytime something unexplained or bad happens, God is blamed. God did this, God did that, God's a serial killer or God failed to do this. If there is a god, I feel sorry for him/her....get real folks!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  12. pilotmech

    Send me 20 dollars and Ill send you a prayer cloth...Just place it over your eyes......I promise you....something will happen......

    July 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • PHIL

      Yeah, the room will go dark.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  13. Michael paul

    Popularity doesn't mean you're right. Remember Hitler was very popular.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      And many people thought that he was right too. And many people still do...

      July 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  14. Bobbie

    Toby, Toby, Toby... If you demand evidence for your beliefs, then why do so many Atheists tout the Theory of Evolution as fact? Because they have to have a scientific way of explaining everything, and they're obviously bothered that there are alternative ways of how the Earth/Universe could have come into existence.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Lee

      Bobby, there are no "alternate ways". If what you're saying is that someone/something actually created the earth approximately 6000 years ago, then why do we have all of the fossils and artifacts dating back millions of years? How would any of us be able to purchase a diamond? A diamond can not form in a few thousand years. Open your eyes!

      July 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Pete

      No, you are the one bothered that there are alternatives to what is written in your beloved book.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Toby

      Bobbie- There is simply no arguing with those who profess to know more than science even admits, yet cannot produce a shard of evidence in support of the claim, outside of a "Christ of faith" or such non-explanatory nonsense. You are certainly free to believe that a deity created everything in six days, just be aware that this kind of thinking has not produced any medical breakthroughs in cancer research, space exploration, agricultural progress, genetic research, transportation improvements, or any other scientific discovery that has improved our lives and our world. It is, at the end of the day, simply nonsense that is tendered as an explanation to keep religion relevant in an increasingly secular world.

      July 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  15. TEDDY

    Not very Christian of you WILL. If your "faith " is strong, varying opinion should not irritate you. they should induce thought on merit. But my way is right and yours is wrong shouldnt cause much trouble Should it WILL? So ya just keep on being narrow minded and the world should be amuch more peace full place.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  16. bridgmjm

    Amy was told by God through the letter He wrote called the Bible.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  17. TheRadicalLiberal

    The Lord sure works in mysterious ways! And this just a day after it was reported that Glenn Beck is suffering from macular degeneration.

    Looks like God in his usual unsubtle way is telling the world that these assorted religious frauds and right wing nutcases are "blind" to the truth.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  18. John

    A sign from God perhaps?

    July 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  19. jillybilly

    Who? Skimming the article and the zealous posts, must be some cult leader.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  20. Mary

    For your information Rick must be ok he's been approved and loved by Chuck Smith after all

    July 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
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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.