Texas Governor Greg Abbot suffered “extensive second- and third-degree burns” on Thursday while on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his family. He is likely to miss the Republican convention as a result.
The Governor was treated for “several hours” at St. John’s Medical Center, reports the Associated Press. The news did not break until Sunday night. Because the Governor wanted to be there in a leadership role for his state during the terrible crisis and aftermath in Dallas.
The governor’s communications team had been working on a statement detailing the burning Thursday, but abandoned it in the aftermath of the mass shooting, Hirsh said. Instead, Abbott released statements about the attack late Thursday night and early Friday morning, as well as an open letter to Texans, urging unity in the face of tragedy.
He found out about the attack as he was leaving St. John’s.
As he was being released, a top aide called from Texas to say a gunman had opened fire in downtown Dallas – an attack that killed five police officers and wounded seven others.
“His first words to us were, ‘I’ve got to come back,'” Hirsch said.
Abbott held a press conference in Dallas on Friday, but didn’t disclose being burned. Hirsch said that his legs were wrapped at the time, but that wasn’t evident since they were covered by his pants.
The only hint anything was wrong, Hirsch said, was that the governor was wearing orthopedic shoes that his staff purchased that morning – rather than the dress shoes or boots he usually dons in public.
Hirsch said surgery won’t be required immediately, but that Abbott was heading to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Monday afternoon to see specialists. He continues to get his legs wrapped daily and should be required to do so for two or three weeks, Hirsch said.
And lest you think his disability made this a minor incident (as if third degree burns can be minor), the AP adds this:
Abbott has used a wheelchair since a tree fell on him while jogging in 1984, paralyzing him from the waist down. Hirsch said the governor still has functioning nerve receptors in his legs and feet, however, and that he has felt pain as they react to the shock of being burned.
He stepped up, toughed it out, and did his job for the people. He didn’t complain. In other words, he acted like a Texan.
Please offer your prayers for the Governor and his family.