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Fmr. Mayor Rybak Recovering After Heart Attack

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is recovering one day after his heart attack. He looks like he’s feeling much better and apparently still has his sense of humor.

Rybak, 58, tweeted a photo from his hospital bed at Abbott Northwestern Sunday afternoon. He’s smiling in the photo and included this message: “Why is everyone complaining about the temps? It’s 68 in here.” His first tweet of the day struck a more serious tone: “It’s a great day to be alive. Really.”

Rybak’s children, Grace, 22, and Charlie, 24, spoke with reporters about their dad’s recovery.

“If he wasn’t in a hospital bed, you’d have no idea he had a heart attack yesterday,” Grace said.

Rybak was cross-country skiing at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis Saturday when he got chest pains and had trouble breathing.

After calling his wife, he was on his way to his car when he ran into a friend.

“A skier friend saw him and called 911 and knew he looked bad. That person saved his life,” Cardiologist Dr. Betty Grey said.

Grey performed an angioplasty and inserted two stents into his heart to open his arteries.

“Time really did matter for him. We’re feeling incredibly blessed that he got the help that he did when he got it,” Grace said.

The news came as a shock to many who know Rybak.

“He is as healthy as he is. He is, you know, super active. He eats great. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him touched junk food,” Charlie said.

“It really shows that a heart attack can happen even to someone who is doing all the right things for their health,” Grace said.

Doctors say family history played a major role.

Both Rybak’s father and grandfather suffered heart problems.

Grace and Charlie said this was a wake-up call for them.

“The information Charlie and I are taking out of this is that we need to take our own genetic history more seriously,” Grace said.

Doctors say Rybak will have another procedure Monday and will likely go home Tuesday or Wednesday.

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