Koch Expects Hospital Room Upgrade After Obama Call

POTUS to ex-mayor: "I'm sure you'll be out soon"

President Barack Obama has called former Mayor Ed Koch in the hospital to ask how he's doin'.

The 84-year-old Koch is currently in an intensive care unit at Presbyterian-Columbia Hospital after having quadruple bypass surgery last week.

The mayor's former press secretary, George Arzt, says the president called on Wednesday afternoon and said "I'm just calling to tell you that you are in my thoughts and I'm sure you'll be out soon."

Koch quipped "as a result of this phone call I'm sure I'm getting a better room."

Koch was the city's mayor from 1978 to 1989 and was famed for asking residents "How'm I doin'?"

He is expected to stay in the hospital for at least another month.

Koch's surgeon was Dr. Craig Smith, who performed a bypass on former President Bill Clinton in 2004.

After Friday's five-hour procedure, Koch, who had a heart attack in 1999, was expected to need a week to recover, then three weeks of rehab.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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