The former president leaves the hospital Friday, four days after quadruple bypass surgery

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 13, 2004 09:00 AM

Bill Clinton spent a sunny Sunday afternoon taking a stroll and relaxing on the patio of his home in Chappaqua, N.Y., where he returned Friday after quadruple bypass surgery last week.

The former president, 58, looking a bit tired but otherwise fine, was spotted sporting a baseball cap and T-shirt with a newspaper and a book tucked under his arm, according to photos.

On Friday, Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy said in a statement: “The President is in good spirits and has taken short walks in the hospital hallway and in his home today.”

Clinton returned home Friday about 6:30 p.m. local time, about half an hour after leaving Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in a sport-utility vehicle. He underwent surgery the previous Monday.

The former president’s Web site received more than 85,000 get-well messages, with hundreds more arriving at the hospital.

In a joint message from Clinton, his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, the former first family said: “Your thoughts and prayers meant so much to us, and helped keep our spirits strong. … We feel blessed to have such support, and it will continue to sustain us throughout the months of recuperation that remain ahead.”

Full recovery is expected to take several months, beyond the Nov. 2 presidential election.