Rep. Bill Pascrell undergoes heart surgery days before primary election

A long-serving Democratic congressman facing a tough primary battle was rushed to the hospital on Sunday but is now reportedly doing “much better” and is ready to return to the campaign trail.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), successfully underwent heart surgery to remove a blockage in his arteries that was discovered after he went to the hospital complaining of heartburn and indigestion, Fox News reported.

The 83-year-old congressman, who is seeking a 12th term representing New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District, will face off against a couple of progressive challengers for his seat in a primary election scheduled for Tuesday.

Pascrell undergoes surgery

In a series of tweets posted to his account on Monday, Rep. Pascrell wrote, “I want to let everyone know when I got back to New Jersey from DC last week I wasn’t feeling 100%. During routine tests for indigestion my docs discovered blocked arteries. At their advice I had a procedure to fix the blockages. Not a wknd I was expecting from a little heartburn!”

“My outstanding #Paterson @sjh_nj doctors expect me to make a complete speedy recovery. I’m feeling *much* better and I’m eager to get back at it. It’ll take a lot more to stop me. #JerseyStrong,” he added.

Doctor predicts swift recovery

The congressman also included a formal statement issued by his office about the successful heart bypass surgery, which noted that he was expected to “fully recover” and also pointed out that he had tested negative for the coronavirus while he was in the hospital for the procedure.

Along with that news from the congressman’s office, there was a statement by the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Mark W. Connelly, chairman of the surgery department at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center.

Connelly said, “The procedure should allow the congressman to get back to his active lifestyle.”

“While recovery varies from patient to patient, because of the congressman’s strength and normal heart function, I am confident that he will have a speedy recovery and be back serving the people of New Jersey within days,” the doctor added.

Primary challenge underway

NorthJersey.com reported that Pascrell is working to defend his seat from two primary challengers, a corporate attorney named Alp Basaran and a former Wall Street investor-turned-eco-activist named Zina Spezakis.

It will be interesting to see how this health emergency at such an advanced age, regardless of the success of the surgery, might factor into the minds of Rep. Pascrell’s constituents as the congressman seeks re-election.

Irrespective of political differences, we wish the congressman a quick and complete recovery.

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