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Rybak recovering after heart attack; extent of damage unclear

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Mayor Rybak
R.T. Rybak in his office Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 in City Hall.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Family members say former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is in good spirits after suffering a heart attack Saturday. 

One of Rybak's physicians said at news conference there is damage to Rybak's heart but the extent is still unclear. 

Rybak's daughter, Grace, says her 58-year-old father was quite animated less than 24 hours after he felt chest pain and was short of breath while cross-country skiing.   "Our dad is recovering really well," she said. "He looks so much healthier already. He's talking and visiting with family  and friends."

Grace said her dad was fortunate.

"He got back to his car and called my mom and when he was still feeling short of breath, his friends happened to come across him and in talking with them, it became clear that he wasn't doing well," she said. "So, he asked them to call 911. He was skiing by himself, which is why we're so grateful that his friends happened to be there to help him out."

Physicians at Abbott Northwestern performed an angioplasty and implanted two stents to restore blood flow. Rybak is expected out of the hospital by mid-week after undergoing additional tests to determine how his heart is doing.  Doctors say the former mayor was in good shape  but has a family history of heart trouble.