AUSTIN, Texas (WHTM) – Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is recovering from a heart attack he suffered at a Texas hotel, his wife said Friday.
Former Pennsylvania First Lady Michele Ridge said her husband remains in critical condition.
“It’s going to be day-to-day,” she said in a statement. “He’s resting comfortably and responding to his doctors. And we all know what a fighter he is. We’d ask those of you who have been sending prayers to keep them coming.”
Ridge was attending the Republican Governors Association conference at the JW Marriott Hotel in Austin when he called hotel staff seeking medical assistance Thursday morning. He was taken by ambulance to Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, his spokesman said.
“The outpouring of prayers and support for Tom has been overwhelming and incredibly meaningful to me and to the entire Ridge family,” Michele Ridge said in the statement. “I want to thank the first responders who, as I’ve learned in the last 24 hours, worked heroically to get Tom from the hotel to the trauma center.”
“It is difficult to find the right words to appropriately thank all of the men and women who continue to provide Tom with such tremendous care. I am thankful Tom was in Austin when this happened and close to world-class medical facilities,” she said.
Ridge, 72, was Pennsylvania’s governor from 1995 to 2001 and a six-term member of Congress. He was the first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.