HOUSTON (AP) - Former President George H.W. Bush remained in guarded
condition overnight in the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital
after a day marked by "a series of setbacks including persistent fever,"
according to his spokesman.
In a brief email Wednesday, Jim McGrath, Bush's
spokesman in Houston, said the 88-year-old former leader had been
admitted Sunday to the ICU at Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush, the
oldest living former U.S. president, was alert and talking to medical
staff, adding that doctors are cautiously optimistic about his
No other details were released about his medical condition, but McGrath said Bush is surrounded by family.
Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he
was admitted for a lingering cough related to bronchitis after having
been in and out of the hospital for complications related to the
Earlier Wednesday, McGrath said, a fever that kept
Bush in the hospital over Christmas had gotten 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 told The Associated Press. "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, McGrath said.
Bush's daughter, Dorothy, was expected to arrive Wednesday in Houston
from Bethesda, Md. 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 at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The former president was a naval aviator in World
War II - at one point the youngest in the Navy - 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.
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