U.S. Sen. John Boozman remains hospitalized in northwest Arkansas after having emergency heart surgery Tuesday. Additional details about his treatment were released Wednesday.
A spokesman says Boozman, 63, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers by his wife Cathy after experiencing pain in his chest and shoulders. After several tests, Boozman was diagnosed with an acute aortic dissection, which involves a tear in the inner layer of a blood vessel branching off the heart, and was admitted for immediate surgery, which lasted several hours.
The condition causes blood to pump through the tear into the middle layer of the aorta, which can be fatal.
Spokesman Patrick Creamer said Wednesday afternoon that Boozman has been in good spirits and that doctors are pleased with his progress.
“They’re still monitoring the recovery process. He’s been awake and conversing with immediate family who’ve been in to visit him all day, so he’s in stable condition and they’re going to continue to monitor him in the first 48 hours to keep a close eye on these things,” Creamer said.
Boozman’s family has requested privacy, but released a written statement Wednesday:
We appreciate the prayers, kind words and well-wishes that have come from Arkansans and people all across the country. Our number one priority is making sure John makes a full recovery. 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. 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.
At this point Creamer says it’s unclear when Senator Boozman will be released from the hospital. The state's junior senator had a string of appearances scheduled for this week in north Arkansas that had to be cancelled.