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Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak hospitalized after ‘cardiac surprise’

Doctors at Abbott Northwestern performed angioplasty on him and inserted two stents.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
MinnPost file photo by Terry Gydesen

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is at Abbott Northwestern Hospital after apparently becoming short of breath earlier Saturday while cross country skiing.

John Stiles, Rybak’s former communications director and chief of staff for new Mayor BetsyHodges confirmed that doctors at Abbott performed angioplasty on Rybak and inserted two  stents.

Tim Burke, public relations manager for Allina Health, issued a statement that said in part:

“Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak came to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Emergency Department about 1 p.m. today by ambulance complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains after cross-country skiing 7.7 miles in Theodore Wirth Park.

“He was taken to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital cardiac catheterization lab where doctors performed an angioplasty and inserted two stents. He is now resting comfortably.

“Family is with him at the hospital this afternoon and asks that their privacy be respected today.”

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Rybak, who is 58, was apparently talking to his family, which City Council President Barb Johnson says is “good news.”

In fact, within the last hour, Rybak posted a couple of tweets, one of them in verse:

“My cardiac surprise/Gave me quite a start/But it proves this politician/Has a great big heart

And one light-hearted:

“By the way the ski trails at Wirth are awesome today”

Rybak, who did not seek re-election, had just retired after 12 years as mayor.

He is scheduled to become the head of Generation Next, which is working to close the academic achievement gap between white and minority students.  Generation Next is a coalition of business, education, community and government leaders.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement Saturday afternoon: “On behalf of all Minnesotans, I extend my very best wishes to former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and his family. We all pray for his swift and complete recovery. Our thanks go to the emergency responders and medical personnel, whose talents and training made the critical difference in the life of this outstanding leader, who has given so much to the people of Minneapolis and all of Minnesota.”