Boozman awake and responsive after surgery

 

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) is awake and responsive after undergoing emergency heart surgery on Tuesday, his family said in a new update on his condition.

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“We know that if John had it his way he would be right back on the road in Arkansas, so the difficult part will be making sure he gets the rest he needs to get better,” Boozman’s family said in a statement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Boozman was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Rogers, Ark., where he underwent emergency heart surgery to correct an acute aortic dissection.

It's unclear how long his recovery will take before he can return to his work in the Senate. His staff says they are focused on his recovery right now and are uncertain when he will be able to return to D.C., but that the office is continuing to help Arkansans as normal.

Boozman, 63, was suffering from pain in his chest and shoulder and reached the hospital in time to correct the situation. Just four years ago, diplomat Richard Holbrooke died from the same medical issue.

Boozman’s staff says he will remain hospitalized while doctors monitor his recovery.

“Our number one priority is making sure John makes a full recovery,” Boozman’s family said. “We are grateful for the excellent care the doctors, nurses and medical staff are providing. They are amazed at how well he has responded and we are anxious for him to begin the next phase of recovery.”

— Vicki Needham contributed to this article.