Rybak in good condition after 2nd surgery following heart attack

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2014 - 6:27 AM

Former Minneapolis mayor has procedure to clear out an artery after his weekend heart attack. “He’s doing really well,” hospital said.

R.T. Rybak
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R.T. Rybak

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite , Associated Press

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Former Mayor R.T. Rybak was in good condition after a procedure Monday afternoon to clear an artery, according to a spokeswoman at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Gloria O’Connell said the procedure took about an hour and was led by interventional cardiologist Yale Wang of the Minneapolis Heart Institute. She said she did not have information to release on whether Rybak’s heart was damaged by Saturday’s heart attack.

Rybak, 58, had the attack while cross-country skiing at Theodore Wirth Park in Golden Valley. Doctors performed an angioplasty and inserted two stents in his arteries that day.

O’Connell said those procedures were to deal with Rybak’s immediate heart problems, but Monday’s procedure was to address an artery that could cause him difficulties in the future. “He’s doing really well,” she said.

Rybak, who left office last week, had to miss Monday’s inauguration of his successor, Betsy Hodges. But a number of speakers sent him good wishes in their remarks.

After serving 12 years as mayor, Rybak did not seek re-election to a fourth term in November. He recently became head of Generation Next, a partnership of civic education, community, government and business leaders that works to close the achievement gap between white and minority students.

Rybak’s doctor said this weekend that he’s expected to begin a cardiac rehabilitation program and should be able to resume his previous athletic lifestyle.

The former mayor has been a participant in a ski race he helped to found in 2003, the City of Lakes Loppet. In fact, Ed Ryan and Scott Gislason, the two skiers who spotted Rybak in distress in his car on Saturday, serve on the loppet foundation’s board with him.

Rybak typically competes in the longest of the loppet events, a freestyle race that’s generally more than 30 kilometers. But he skied shorter races in 2008, when he was helping Sen. Barack Obama in the Iowa presidential caucus, and in 2010, when Rybak was competing for the DFL endorsement for governor.

He was not yet registered for this year’s race, but John Munger, the foundation’s executive director, said that before the attack he had expected Rybak to compete in the Feb. 2 race.

 

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438 Twitter: @brandtstrib

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