Former President George H.W. Bush no longer in intensive care
December 29th, 2012
03:57 PM ET
10 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.

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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)

    Great President

    December 29, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. RAL

    Great News my best wishes to George HW and all the Bush family for a very Happy New Year.
    God Bless you Mr President and keep you with us for a long time

    December 29, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Rick

    I'm glad to see that President Bush is recovering, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

    December 29, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. Tugman

    Great news. I am happy that he is getting better.

    December 29, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. Dilly Ngoc Nguyen

    I am very happy for you sir,I wish you get well soon.Thank you very much for all your family to serve the country.No matter what people said in my heart your family is the best and the most respected to me in the whole wide world.

    December 29, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  6. Felix R.

    I love the Bush family. Have a speedy recovery Mr. President.

    December 30, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  7. Sally

    Wish you the best!!! You are a great and decent man!!!

    December 30, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Sonia

    He's a fighter! While I didn't vote for him, and I wasn't a big fan of his politics, I think he was a decent man. While I am not a big fan of war, I have military friends and he certainly served courageously and honorably in war somewhat more convincing than current and recent ones. I admire him for tearing up his NRA card when some waco suggested firing on federal agents if they got too close to your weapons stashes. I admire him for signing the Americans with Disabilities Act, which angered many businesses and corporations, and put strains on public funds, but opened new doors to people who through (usually) no fault of their own had disabilities that were made worst by access issues and discrimination!! This was leadership that now extends to many countries in the world, and Americans take for granted, It also comes in handy for people who are elderly or temporarily disabled. The man has courage, is a true gentleman, and didn't get nasty. Not only did he put aside animosity, but worked with Pres. Clinton on worldwide initiatives and became friends doing so. I'd love to see him die in freefall when he's 100 and parachuting!

    December 30, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  9. mgrgurich

    Best wishes to the last republican I voted for. Hold your nose and finish your brocolli. It's good steamed with garlic!

    December 30, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  10. Name: Bulelani

    I want to agree more with the fact that heavens have not experienced such an abundance of prayers, intended prayers and continued prayers, perhaps so as our former president N.R. Mandela at his 94th year of life. God is great.

    December 30, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  11. Name Adetokun M

    I wish the President quick recovery and happy new year in advance.

    December 30, 2012 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  12. liz OH

    My prayers to the whole Bush family get well Mr. President and congrats to Pres GW , First Lady Laura and the familly on the blessed new Bush family member coming who can be very proud to belong to one of the grreatest American families God Bless the Bushes and America

    December 30, 2012 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
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