Is Tom Ridge OK? Pennsylvania ex-guv rushed to hospital for emergency procedure

Ridge was transferred to a hospital in Washington DC on June 16 morning. He reportedly had a blood clot that led to a stroke

                            Is Tom Ridge OK? Pennsylvania ex-guv rushed to hospital for emergency procedure
Former Governor Tom Ridge speaks during the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation 2016 Ridge Awards in New York City (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge is currently in critical condition in hospital, his family has confirmed. The Pennsylvania Republican politician, who also served as the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suffered a stroke at his home in Bethesda on Wednesday, June 16. Reportedly, Ridge was hospitalized due to a blood clot, which has since been removed. News of his hospitalization has shocked friends, as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle. Since the news came out, several have taken to Twitter to pray for Ridge's well-being and speedy recovery.

This year has already claimed the lives of two popular Republicans. Back in May, megadonor Foster Friess passed away after succumbing to cancer. On June 13, Mississippi state Representative Ashley Henley was found dead under mysterious circumstances.  


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Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (C) and U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner (L) and New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (R) at a media conference June 12, 2003 in at Port Elizabeth in Newark, New Jersey. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)


What happened to Tom Ridge?

Ridge was transferred to a hospital in Washington DC on June 16 morning. He reportedly had a blood clot that led to a stroke. "He remains in critical but stable condition," his Ridge's family said in a short statement. The 75-year-old was conscious when he arrived at the emergency department, where he underwent an operation to remove the clot. The family shared the update on Ridge's Twitter account. 



Further details were not available. This is not, however, the first time Ridge has been hospitalized. In 2017, after suffering a heart attack in Austin, Texas. He was attending the Republican Governors Association conference when he summoned medical help to his hotel room. The attack was so bad, Ridge ended up in a coma for five days, and reportedly flatlined thrice. "My wife, Michele, told me she had the priest come in and give me last rites," he said in a 2018 interview. Thankfully, he survived and made some "modest lifestyle changes". 

A decorated politician, Ridge also served in Vietnam, and as a county prosecutor before joining politics. In 1994 he was elected Governor, and in 2001 he joined the Bush administration to lead the then-newly created DHS. 

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) speaks to the press before the swearing in ceremony of Governor Tom Ridge as Director of Homeland Security at the White House October 8, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

'True patriot and public servant'

"Sure hope he's okay. They don't make many like Tom Ridge anymore," one journalist tweeted. Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor tweeted, "In the strongest and most heartfelt terms possible, I wish the very, very best and a *full* speedy recovery for Governor Ridge. A true patriot and public servant."




One person tweeted, "Recalled the running joke in the 90s was that God woke up every morning and asked himself what he could do for Tom Ridge that day. Now would be a good time for Him to do him the ultimate solid. Prayers for his speedy recovery." Another fondly shared, "Governor Tom Ridge was the first Pennsylvania governor I remember. I met him when I was in 6th grade, learning about politics for the first time. Prayers to him and his family."




Senator Dan Laughlin tweeted, "I wish a speedy and full recovery to my good friend, former Governor Tom Ridge. Governor Ridge is a true source of pride for my hometown, Erie, Pennsylvania. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ridge family." Democratic state lawmaker Austin Davis said, "Wishing Governor Ridge a full recovery! He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers."




The family and Ridge's spokesman Steve Aaron have said further updates will be provided in due course. So far, neither Trump nor any of his allies in Congress have reached out, or publicly conveyed their prayers for Ridge. That could be due to the fact that Ridge is a strong anti-Trumper, who endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. 

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