By Julio Rosas & Joseph Simonson
Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have a blood vessel burst in his left eye while participating in CNN's town hall on climate change.
A broken blood vessel in the eye, also known as a subconjuctival hemorrhage, can be caused by several things, including high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, blood thinners, or even excessive straining.
Biden, 76, has long been plagued by health issues. In 1988, he suffered an aneurysm that burst and required him to undergo emergency surgery. The then-senator was so close to death that a Catholic priest began preparing to administer the sacrament of last rites.
Months later, surgeons clipped a second aneurysm before it burst. Biden then took a seven-month leave from the Senate following the surgery. Describing the operation, he once said, “They literally had to take the top of my head off.”
Jill Biden said in her recently released autobiography Where the Light Enters that, at the time, she feared her husband would never be the same. "Our doctor told us there was a 50-50 chance Joe wouldn't survive surgery," she wrote. "He also said that it was even more likely that Joe would have permanent brain damage if he survived. And if any part of his brain would be adversely affected, it would be the area that governed speech."
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