Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett discusses health scare

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett discussed his health scare for the first time Friday, December 13th after being admitted to the hospital where doctors found two blockages in his heart.

Mayor Barrett celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday, December 8th, the same day he was admitted to the hospital.

"I found out I'm not 25-years-old anymore," said Barrett. "I had had a plan to run 60 minutes on my 60th birthday, a plan I still think is a solid plan. I run very, very slowly."

Barrett decided to run the track at the Pettit Ice Center due to weather conditions. The track was closed for a 20-kilometer run but instead of leaving, Barrett joined the race.

Barrett said he enjoyed the experience so much that after 60 minutes, he just kept running and finished the race. On the last lap, Barrett requested to hear Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."

Shortly after, things went black and Mayor Barrett passed out.

"I got a little weak and that's when I ended up in the hospital," said Barrett.

Doctors found elevated levels of a heart enzyme. A catherization led to angioplasty, a surgical procedure to open blocked heart arteries. One day after the procedure, Barrett returned to work at City Hall.

"I would recommend for my 61st birthday maybe I would play cards for 61 minutes, or something like that, but I'm not fighting middle age," joked Barrett. "I was so excited by what happened Sunday in running 20 kilometers for the first time in my life, tomorrow I'm going to swim across lake Michigan."

Doctors say once Barrett gets the all clear, he will be able to run again.

The Mayor said tests showed no heart damage and he considers himself fortunate to find the health issues when he did.