MINNEAPOLIS - Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is recovering at a Minneapolis hospital after suffering a serious heart attack on Saturday.
According to friends and family who were with Rybak at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, he suffered shortness of breath while cross-country skiing earlier in the day.
"It happened after skiing 7.7 miles at Theodore Wirth Park, but he insisted that we make the point that it's mostly related to some family history. He's a very healthy eater. He's one of the fittest people any of us will ever know," said John Stiles, Rybak's former communications director.
Family says that Rybak's father and grandfather suffered from serious heart problems.
According to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Emergency Department, Rybak arrived at the hospital at about 1 p.m. by ambulance. He was complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains.
Rybak called his wife while skiing to say he wasn't feeling well. He ran into friends on the trail a short time later. They called 911 on Rybak's behalf.
Rybak was taken to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital cardiac catheterization lab where doctors performed an angioplasty and inserted two stents.
"It was scary, but he's also gotten great care here and they've done a great job of keeping (family) informed," said his daughter, Grace.
Rybak is resting comfortably with family by his side.
"As anyone who follows my dad on Twitter can see, his sense of humor is very much in tact," Grace Rybak said.
Rybak tweeted poetry at about 3:30 p.m., "My cardiac surprise/Gave me quite a start/But it proves this politician/Has a great big heart."
Rybak also tweeted that the trails at Theodore Wirth Park were great on Saturday.
"We've been in visiting with him and he's been chatting and joking with all of the doctors and nurses in there. So, he's feeling much better," Grace Rybak said.
Rybak sent out the Tweets in an effort to let people know that he was going to be fine.
"He was worried that other people would think it was more serious than it was or that they would be concerned," Grace Rybak said. "He wanted to be sure that everybody felt OK."
Rybak's 12-year term as mayor officially ended at midnight on Wednesday, when newly-elected Mayor Betsy Hodges took over the reigns.
Gov. Mark Dayton was quick to issue a statement after hearing the news. He thanked the emergency responders and medical personnel who helped Rybak.
"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."
"He wanted me to say how grateful he is for all of the support he's been getting on Twitter and on the phone," Grace Rybak said.
Rybak, an avid skiier, says he will be back out on the city's trails as soon as doctors give him the OK.