George H.W. Bush in intensive care
Former president has suffered ‘series of setbacks’
HOUSTON • Former president George H.W. Bush was admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit “following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever,” but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston, said in a brief email that Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday.
He said doctors are cautiously optimistic about his treatment and that the former president “remains in guarded condition.”
No other details were released about his medical condition, but McGrath said Bush is surrounded by family.
The 88-year-old has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was admitted for a lingering cough related to bronchitis.
Earlier Wednesday, McGrath said a fever that kept Bush in the hospital over Christmas had got worse and that doctors had put him on a liquids-only diet.
“It’s an elevated fever, so it’s actually gone up in the last day or two,” McGrath said. “It’s a stubborn fever that won’t go away.”
But he said the cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital has improved.
Bush was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara, his son, Neil, and Neil’s wife, Maria, and a grandson. Bush’s daughter, Dorothy, was expected to arrive Wednesday from Bethesda, Maryland. The 41st president has also been visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida.
Bush and his wife live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The former president was a naval aviator in the Second World War and was shot down over the Pacific.
He achieved notoriety in retirement for skydiving on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House in 1992.