AUSTIN, Texas (AP/KDKA) – A spokesman says former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was in critical condition after undergoing an emergency heart procedure at a hospital in Austin, Texas.READ MORE: Man Killed, Woman In Critical Condition After Being Found Behind Apartment Complex
Ridge spokesman Steve Aaron says the 72-year-old Ridge, Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 1995 to 2001, was attending the Republican Governors Association conference when he called for help at his hotel about 7 a.m.
The spokesman says Ridge underwent a cardiac catheterization at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas.
Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement:
“Frances and I are praying for Governor Ridge and his whole family, especially Michele and their kids. We know Tom is a fighter and the Ridges should know that all of Pennsylvania is pulling for them as he recovers.”
Aaron says Ridge has been responsive with physicians.READ MORE: PTL Links: Dec. 1, 2021
He was the nation’s first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.
Former Governor Tom Corbett, who has known Ridge for years, had a similar procedure.
“I think anytime you’ve had a heart attack, that’s going to be critical in the very beginning, and they wait a day or two to see how you grow out of it,” he said. “To me, I’m pretty sure they said I was in critical condition the first day, and I felt pretty good. So I hope that is the case with him.”
Corbett said it was “absolutely” a good sign Ridge was talking to his doctors “and he recognized that he was having a problem, and that’s good.”
According to YourErie.com, Dave Ridge, Tom’s brother, has said that the former governor’s status has been upgraded to serious but stable.MORE NEWS: E.G. Daily On 'Rugrat's New Holiday Special "Traditions": 'We Embrace Everyone And Everything'
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)