Family expresses optimism former Governor Tom Ridge will recover fully

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 20, 2017 11:54 AM

FILE PHOTO: In this Oct. 22, 2009, file photo, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on policy czars. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

(Austin, Texas) -- The family of former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Governor Tom Ridge says they're cautiously optimistic that he'll make a full recovery from a heart attack.

A statement issued through a family spokesman today said Ridge remained in an intensive care unit in Austin, Texas.

He had been attending a Republican Governors Association conference there Thursday when he called for help at his hotel.

Ridge's wife, Michele, says doctors are encouraged by his progress, although they caution there's a "long road ahead."

They say he's made steady progress since undergoing an emergency cardiac catheterization, and doctors have removed some of the machines used to stabilize him.

The Republican was a two-term governor from 1995 to 2001. He was the first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.

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