AURORA, Ill. – Former Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde was in intensive care Tuesday after undergoing open-heart surgery over the weekend, a former aide said.
Hyde, 83, who decided not to seek re-election last year after representing his suburban Chicago district for 32 years, had triple bypass surgery Saturday and remained under sedation at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, said former executive assistant Patrick Durante.
"I was there today and he's doing well," Durante said Tuesday evening. "He's in intensive care right now and he's coming out of the anesthesia as we speak. All the good signs are happening."
A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately return a telephone message after business hours Tuesday from The Associated Press.
Doctors discovered the blockages in Hyde's arteries during a normal exam, said Durante, who is also Addison Township Republican chairman.
"He wasn't rushed to the hospital, it wasn't a stroke or anything like that," Durante said. "He's much better, much improved and he'll be out politicking sooner than we know."
Hyde was first elected by 6th Congressional District voters in 1974. During his tenure, he gained notoriety for fighting against government-funded abortions and rose through the ranks to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and later chairman of the House International Relations Committee. He later captured Democrats' ire by making the case for President Clinton's impeachment.
Hyde's hand-picked successor, Rep. Peter Roskam, kept his seat after a highly publicized campaign against disabled Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth.