PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Delegate Richard Anderson is recovering from emergency eye surgery.

The Prince William County elected leader underwent the surgery shortly after Thanksgiving after, he suffered a detached retina in his right eye. A portion of the retina in his eye tore when the fluid that surrounds the retina, called vitreous (vi-tree-us), to pull away and rip the retina much like wallpaper can tear from a wall.

Three surgeons were called in to help Anderson at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital the day after Thanksgiving. The following Monday, Anderson returned to the clinic to have additional procedures to repair his eye.

After being released from the hospital on the day of the surgery and wearing an eye patch, Anderson has since removed it and is back at home recovering.

“Your eye is essentially blurred… right now I’m totally blind in the right eye… I’m doing everything with one eye,” said Anderson.

While he’s not in any pain – just some minor discomfort following the surgery – it has slowed down an elected leader to prides himself on responding to constituent’s email on the same day they land in his inbox.

Last December, Anderson suffered and got treatment for a similar condition in his left eye. This time, he immediately recognized the symptoms and sought treatment.

A retired Air Force Colonel, Anderson said his vision is the only physical problem he’s ever had. He urged everyone to have an annual eye exam to help identify and correct vision problems before they worsen.

“Thank god we live in today’s world of technology. If this was 50 years ago, I could be blind in one eye,” he said.

It should take about a month for his eyesight to get back to normal. When he returns to the Virginia State Capital in Richmond for the start of the General Assembly session Jan. 8, he hopes his recovered vision will provide him better insight on the tough issues facing the state.