First President Bush in Houston hospital

George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, in Maine in June. He is being treated for a cough.
George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, in Maine in June. He is being treated for a cough. (AP, File)
Posted: November 30, 2012

HOUSTON - Former President George H.W. Bush was in a Houston hospital Thursday for continuing treatment of a lingering cough.

Bush, 88, has been in and out of the hospital recently for complications resulting from bronchitis, Methodist Hospital said in a brief statement.

The hospital and Bush's spokesman in Houston, Jim McGrath, described Bush as in stable condition and said they expected the former president to be released by the weekend. He has been under hospital care for nearly a week.

"If you asked him today, he would tell you he feels good enough to get out this afternoon," McGrath said Thursday. "But the doctors have a different view. He's 88, and they're being extra careful, and understandably so."

The former president's illness was described as not life-threatening.

"Any time someone the president's age had bronchitis, there's concern about possible pneumonia," Amy Myunderse, the doctor who is in charge of Bush's care, told the Houston Chronicle. "Mr. Bush's condition never progressed to that level."

Bush was treated with antibiotics and steroids, she said.

McGrath said this is Bush's second extended hospital stay this month.

"This cough has kind of been building on itself since roughly the beginning of the month," he said. "He was hospitalized earlier in the month for a little over a week. They thought they had successfully contained the bronchial issues but they hadn't. It kind of flared up again over Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving, he was readmitted."

McGrath said physicians want the cough to go away completely before Bush is discharged.

Former President George W. Bush slipped in to see his father Sunday along with his wife, Laura. They now live in Dallas.

The elder Bush and his wife, Barbara, make their winter home in Houston and spend summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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