Bill Clinton to Have Multiple Heart Bypass

ByABC News
September 3, 2004, 12:10 PM

Sept. 3, 2004 — -- Former President Bill Clinton will undergo quadruple heart bypass surgery in New York City, ABC News has learned.

Clinton, 58, is planning to undergo the operation at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan early next week, his wife announced Friday night.

The severity of his coronary problem was discovered after an angiogram this morning at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., a source said. His coronary results were not favorable and his heart was found to have multiple lesions, the source added.

In a statement from Clinton's office, spokeswoman Tammy Sun said he experienced symptoms Thursday.

"The former president went to Northern Westchester Hospital [Thursday] afternoon after experiencing mild chest pain and shortness of breath," Sun said. "Initial testing was normal and he spent the night at home in nearby Chappaqua, N.Y. After undergoing additional testing this morning at Westchester Medical Center, doctors advised he should undergo bypass surgery."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told an audience at the New York State Fair in Syracuse that her husband had planned to attend the fair until he learned he needed surgery. She instead departed to join him at the New York City hospital.

"His doctors asked him to come back early this morning for some additional tests, and as a result of those additional tests they did advise him to have bypass surgery and to do it as soon as he could," the senator said. "He's in excellent hands and he's at one of the best hospitals in the world."

The Clintons' daughter, Chelsea, joined her parents at the hospital, Sun said.

President Bush was told about Bill Clinton's condition by his staff on Air Force One while flying from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. He called Clinton to wish him well.

"He is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally in Milwaukee. "We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."