Three days after sustaining what was described as a major heart attack, ex-mayor R.T. Rybak left Abbott Northwestern Hospital on Tuesday to recuperate.

Former aide Andy Holmaas released a statement Tuesday afternoon that said that Rybak will recuperate for "the next couple of weeks" after his release. He will then begin working at his new job as executive director of Generation Next, an fledging organization focused on closing the achievement gap in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools.

Holmaas said that doctors have performed two angioplasties and inserted six stents since Rybak entered the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains while cross-country skiing at Theodore Wirth Park in Golden Valley.

Megan O'Hara, Rybak's wife, said in a voice message Monday that Rybak will bypass his typical skate-ski long race in the City of Lakes Loppet ski race this year. But she added that he hopes to participate in the weekend's more sedate luminary loppet ski tour on Feb. 1, the night before the marquee 42-kilometer race. Rybak helped to found the ski festival as part of a silent sports series and serves on the loppet foundation board.  

"The family is hoping others will learn from this experience making sure that everyone in their family is aware of their medical health history," Holmaas said in an e-mailed statement.

An angioplasty involves inserting a thin tube with a balloon through the blood stream and then inflating the balloon to reopen an artery closed or blocked by a buildup of plaque, and restore blood flow to the heart. A stent is a small tube that is inserted to buttress the inner wall of an artery.

(Photo above: Rybak skis in 2005 at City of Lakes Loppet events.  Staff photo by Duane Braley0