Former President George H.W. Bush no longer in intensive care
December 29th, 2012
03:57 PM ET
5 years ago

Former President George H.W. Bush no longer in intensive care

(CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush was moved Saturday out of the intensive care unit of the Houston hospital where he has been for more than a month.

"President Bush's condition has improved, so he has been moved today from the intensive care unit to a regular patient room at The Methodist Hospital to continue his recovery," his office said in a statement distributed by spokesman Jim McGrath.

Bush was moved to the intensive care unit last Sunday as doctors worked to control "a stubborn fever," McGrath said at the time. He was listed at the time in guarded condition.

Bush was initially hospitalized with bronchitis and remained in the hospital for a lingering cough. He was admitted from November 7 through 9, then returned on November 23. He has remained at the hospital since. Before his ICU admission, Bush was undergoing physical therapy as doctors prepared to have him home for Christmas.

While in the intensive care unit, Bush was on a liquid diet. It was not immediately clear on Saturday whether he remained on that modified diet.

On Friday, McGrath signaled that the former president was improving.

"The president is alert and, as always, in good spirits - and his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing. The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes and, like their doctors, are cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective."

Jean Becker, Bush's chief of staff, sent supporters a note on Thursday with reassurances that the former president's condition is not dire.

"Is he sick? Yes. Does he plan on going anywhere soon? No. He has every intention of staying put," Becker wrote. "He would ask me to tell you to please put the harps back in the closet."

Bush's health care in Houston is "unequaled anywhere" she wrote, asking supporters to "keep him and the family in your prayers.

"I am thinking heaven has not seen such a barrage of prayer intentions since 'It's a Wonderful Life,'" she wrote, referring to the classic holiday movie.

McGrath, the spokesman, told CNN on Wednesday morning that Bush's "mood is relentlessly positive and includes humorous banter with his doctor."

On Christmas, Bush was visited by members of his family including his wife, and his son, former President George W. Bush, was expected to visit the hospital later.

At 88, Bush is the oldest living former president; he is four months older than former President Jimmy Carter.

Related: The George H.W. Bush years on CNN's iReport

Filed under: George H.W. Bush • Texas
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Sir, good luck to you, have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.
    PS: I am not bush-2 fan, but Bush-1 is fine.

    December 29, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Ronald Allen

    Very happy to hear that the former President is getting better. I'll eat a few florets of broccoli in celebration. Just to rid the world of a little so he won't have to.

    December 29, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Sheik Andbake

    It's a Festivus Miracle!!!

    December 29, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Name remedios diaz

    All of us praying for President Bush speedy recovery!

    December 29, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. American

    It would be Awesome to be able to see ALL the 5 Standing Presidents together once.

    December 29, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. diane

    wonderful news!! happy new year Mr President!!

    December 29, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Shakira

    I wish him a speedy and full recovery. Never had an issue with him just his son.

    December 29, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Ronda Reed

    Glad you are improving, Mr. President! Continued prayers are sent to you.

    December 29, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Terry

    He'll probably be skydiving by President's Day.

    December 29, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. freshnewblog

    Good. I am glad that he is out. I hope that he has a happy 2013 with family.

    December 29, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Maria

    As people the Bushes are great! Hope Bush -1 has a wonderful New Year with family
    -signed a democrat...

    December 29, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Verbum Vincet

    I pray for your speedy recovery, President Bush! You were a good president.

    Two famous quotes I remember from the first Bush Presidency:

    "Read my lips! NO NEW TAXES..."

    "What we are looking at is good and evil, right and wrong. And a NEW WORLD ORDER... We're not about to make that same mistake..."

    December 29, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. kelly in los angeles

    i am a democrat and i wish bush a speedy recovery

    December 29, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Brian Mouland

    Good news know Bush Sr is a fighter

    December 29, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Lizzy10

    Good to hear.

    December 29, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Jt_flyer

    Get well soon Mr. President.

    December 29, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Name lynn

    people have been praying for mr bush recovery an god bless him stay strong mr bush until the end

    December 29, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. Matt

    Get well Mr. President.

    December 29, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. Bob

    May you live to 120. The best to you and your family. Hope you go sky diving again soon. My dad and mom are both 92. Dad was recently hospitalized for 3 days but was ill for 3 weeks. He is now now fully recovered and drove mom to dinner tonight. Ps one of the best drivers on the road. HAPPY NEW YEAR. PSS A FAN OF THE WHOLE FAMILY.

    December 29, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Deborah Bridges

    Mr. Bush it is good you are healing and I am praying for you. Take care!

    December 29, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Will Morgan

    It's true what they say, the good die young. Good luck recovering "Magog."

    December 29, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Adam

    I hope he gets better. He was a good President and although I'm a huge Clinton fan we would have been fine with him had he won in 1992.

    December 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. TheMovieFan

    Not one of my most favorite presidents BUT I certainly will not wish ill of him. I hope he makes a recovery and returns to be with his family.

    December 29, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Scott

    Good for him! From one old sailor to another, Bravo Zulu!


    December 29, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. kathy/Minnesota

    Not a bush fan, but feel better Mr. President. Speedy recovery and get home soon 🙂

    December 29, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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