NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch is back in the hospital for the third time since September, but a spokesman said the former mayor is doing well.
The 88-year-old was admitted Saturday night with swollen ankles, according to spokesman George Arzt.
Koch told Arzt that his condition is “nothing serious” when the two spoke on Sunday, Arzt said. He added that Koch “sounded great.”
On Sunday evening, Arzt said Koch was doing well.
Koch joked about his ailment “It is not death dealing… I could die, but not from this,” the spokesman said.
Koch has been taking oxygen. Arzt said the former mayor may be out of hospital on Wednesday, but that is up to his doctors.
During a Saturday lunch with former staffers he felt sick and his ankles were swollen, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. By dinnertime, he looked so unwell a physician friend sent him straight to New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center — the same one he was in this past December for a lung infection.
“You have an 88-year-old who already has a history of heart issues and the swollen ankles — fluid in his lungs, we understand now also — are all indications of heart failure. It’s concerning,” said CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez. “It could be manageable, but it’s concerning.”
Doctors have told Koch they are waiting for the swelling in his ankles to go down, and he may get out of the hospital as early as Wednesday.
“You put him in the hospital to tune him up; to give him some diuretics to pull some the excess fluid off, and perhaps adjust his medications — and it might be necessary,” Gomez said. “It may be he wasn’t careful what he was eating and drinking, and there was too much fluid on board, and his heart was unable to pump it. It adds extra load to the heart, which is potentially dangerous to someone who is having heart failure.”
After 12 years as mayor, plus time as a lawyer, commentator and TV personality, New Yorkers feel like they know him and say he just seems unstoppable.
“He’s always seemed tough,” said Sharon Simon of Washington Heights. “I’ve seen him have that kind of pull-through attitude.”
“He’s a fighter,” said Nancy Carreras. “He’s a New Yorker.”
Koch was invited to attend the presidential inauguration in Washington on Monday but was not planning to make the trip.
Once he is released, Koch will be instructed to take it easy, and adherer to a strict, heart-healthy diet.
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