VIA: New York Times
WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton was taken to a New York hospital on Thursday after experiencing chest pains, and doctors there inserted two stents into one of his coronary arteries, his office said.
“Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest,” said a statement issued by Douglas Band, his longtime adviser.
Mr. Clinton, who serves as the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, has been spending much of his time in recent weeks trying to coordinate relief and recovery efforts for the Caribbean island after a devastating earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives. Mr. Clinton just returned a few days ago from his second trip there since the earthquake.
“Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries,” Mr. Band’s statement said.
“President Clinton is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton learned of her husband’s condition after she concluded a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office.
An associate of Mrs. Clinton’s said she was still in Washington, but making plans to head to New York City late Thursday afternoon.
Mr. Clinton, 63, has a history of heart trouble.
Mr. Clinton had quadruple coronary artery bypass in 2004. He never had a heart attack, but the surgery then was similarly prompted by his complaints about chest pain and shortness of breath.
He developed rare complications affecting his lungs that required another operation six months later, in March 2005. Scar tissue and fluid had built up in the lung and had given Mr. Clinton breathing difficulties.
Since then, Mr. Clinton has been active in charity efforts and in 2008 had a rigorous schedule campaigning on behalf of his wife’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.
Mr. Clinton’s health has been a concern ever since the 2004 heart operation. By his own account, he had never been entirely the same. “It changed me,” he told the New York Times last year. “One of the things I noticed is that on normal days ever since I had that heart surgery, I’m a lot more laid back and a lot more relaxed and a lot more healthy.
“But I also noticed since I had the surgery — and this is what you picked up in the campaign — that if I’m really tired, it’s more difficult for me than it was when I was back in politics before I had the heart problem,” he said. “I have no explanation for why that is. I’m just observing it. It’s neither an excuse for any mistake I made or anything else. I’m just explaining. It’s something I’ve noticed. My life has changed.”