BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)– Maryland Speaker of the House Michael Busch has undergone a liver transplant.

The speaker’s office said in a statement that the 70-year-old Busch had the procedure Thursday at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Busch’s sister provided the donation.

The speaker’s office says Busch was recently diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Busch said in an interview Wednesday with The Capital of Annapolis said his health had gotten worse in recent weeks. He attributed his recent health problems to medication for skin cancer.

Busch says his doctors expect recovery will take seven weeks. His adult daughters will spend the next few months at home with him and his wife.

Busch, a Democrat, is the longest serving speaker in Maryland history.

Busch released the following statement:

“As many of you have likely noticed, my energy level did not return after a brief hospitalization last fall. Over the past several months, a medical team from University of Maryland Medical System has been working to determine why my energy level did not bounce back.

Recently, my doctors diagnosed me with liver disease from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which I learned last month is progressing. At that point, we decided that the best available course of action was to proceed with a liver transplant. Through the Living Donor Program at University of Maryland Medical Center, I am fortunate to be able to have the surgery quickly, thanks to my sister.

Major surgery of this nature is always daunting. Unlike many in our state and our country, I am fortunate to have good health insurance and access to the best medical care in the country. This is the first significant medical issue I have had in my life and it does force you to reflect on those who may not have the same quality of care that many of us are blessed with.

I will face this challenge in the same way that I have fought for the people of my district: with determination and hard work. I will keep working through my recovery and I look forward to spending time with my family and getting back on the lacrosse field with my daughters; jogging with my dog; and working for the people of Annapolis.”

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