By: KDKA-TV News Staff

WASHINGTON (KDKA) – Former Gov. Tom Ridge is thanking people for their well wishes over the past two weeks.

READ MORE: Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge Hospitalized After Stroke

Ridge released a statement Friday for the first time since he had a stroke 16 days ago in Virginia. He indicated he could have a long-term disability from his stroke.

READ MORE: Former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge Now In Stable Condition After Suffering Stroke

He’s been chairman of the National Organization on Disability for 15 years.

Ridge also thanked his first responders, doctors and nurses.

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“Where would our nation be right now without these frontline healthcare workers who have given so much – and who risked everything – to keep us all safe during the pandemic? They are remarkable. And they’re my heroes,” he said in his statement.