Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and the nation's first Secretary of Homeland Security, is in critical condition following a heart procedure, a spokesman said Thursday.
Ridge, 72, fell ill Thursday morning at the JW Marriott hotel in Austin, Texas. He was attending the Republican Governors Conference.
Paramedics rushed Ridge to a Dell Seton Medical Center and he was taken into surgery. Doctors performed a cardiac catherization, a procedure designed to diagnose heart issues.
Ridge was listed in critical condition following surgery, but is responsive, his spokesman said.
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Ridge, a Republican, served as Pennsylvania's 43rd governor from 1995-2001. President George W. Bush appointed him as the United States' first advisor on Homeland Security in the days following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.
He took over as the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security when it was formed from 22 agencies in 2003.
Gov. Tom Wolf in a statment said he and his wife, Francis, are praying for Ridge's recovery.
"We know Tom is a fighter and the Ridges should know that all of Pennsylvania is pulling for them as he recovers," Wolf said.