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Former President Clinton Recovering After Heart Bypass Surgery - 2004-09-07

Former President Bill Clinton is breathing on his own as he continues to recover from successful heart bypass surgery in a New York City hospital.

Mr. Clinton, 58, was taken off a respirator late Monday after undergoing a four-hour quadruple bypass operation earlier in the day. His surgeons say the former president's arteries were so clogged he likely would have suffered a major heart attack in the near future.

Mr. Clinton could go home within the next four to five days, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery within two to three months.

The recovery time is likely to prevent him from campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Mr. Clinton and Mr. Kerry discussed campaign strategy during a long phone conversation Saturday night.

Mr. Clinton remains a popular figure among many Democrats. His presidential center website says he has received more than 55,000 e-mails wishing him a speedy recovery.