04/23/2014 04:02 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2014

Arkansas Sen. John Boozman In Recovery Following Emergency Heart Surgery

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Arkansas Sen. John Boozman (R) continues to recover Wednesday after undergoing unexpected heart surgery, according to an update from the senator's office.

Boozman was taken to the hospital after experiencing pain his chest and arm. The statement notes the senator was "in good spirits" en route to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute aortic dissection after receiving several tests. The surgery, which was said to have lasted several hours on Tuesday, was successful.

Boozman's office said the senator will remain hospitalized during his recovery. His family released the following statement of gratitude for the support they've received:

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.

The Associated Press reported on Boozman's surgery Tuesday:

— Arkansas U.S. Sen. John Boozman had unscheduled heart surgery Tuesday at a hospital in the northwestern part of the state, where his office said he was recovering well.

During the night, Boozman, a Republican, had pain in his chest and an arm, which prompted the hospital visit. Doctors performed tests and decided to perform the surgery, according to his Senate office.

Boozman's office didn't release what type of heart surgery the senator had.

"Doctors say he responded well to the surgery and are monitoring his recovery," according to a statement released by Boozman spokesman Patrick Creamer.

The statement also said Boozman's family had visited him and is hoping for a full recovery. His office didn't release the name of the hospital.

The state's junior senator, Boozman had been scheduled for an 8 a.m. appearance in Gravette to discuss a highway bypass project and President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. In the afternoon, he was to have spoken at a rural health center in Green Forest and at a housing agency in Harrison.

Other politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Tuesday offered wishes for a speedy recovery.

"We're glad to hear that John is doing well and we all look forward to having him back at work. He is a fantastic Senator and a tireless advocate for Arkansas and the people he so proudly represents," the statement from McConnell's office said.

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, the only Democrat in the state's congressional delegation, released a statement expressing his concern.

"I'm fortunate to call Senator Boozman a good friend and trusted colleague," Pryor said. "Today, I lift up his wife, Cathy, his three daughters, and their family and friends in prayer. On behalf of all Arkansans, I'd like to wish Senator Boozman a speedy recovery."

Republicans in the delegation also sent their good wishes in prepared statements and on Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican who is running to challenge Pryor, wished a quick recovery for Boozman.

"I am grateful to call Senator Boozman a colleague and a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family," Cotton said in a prepared statement.

The statement from Boozman's office said the family asked for privacy as Boozman recovers and said that his Senate office would provide updates when more information is available.



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