19 January 2017

George H.W. Bush in ICU, Wife, Barbara, Hospitalized as a ‘Precaution’


© Larry Downing Image: Former president George H.W. Bush, and former first lady, Barbara Bush

While George H.W. Bush remains in the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital after experiencing “shortness of breath,” the former president’s wife, Barbara, has also been admitted for a separate health issue, the couple’s spokesman said Wednesday.

The former first lady was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital on Wednesday morning “as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing,” spokesman Jim McGrath said in a new statement following an update on her husband’s condition.

Her husband, 92-year-old Bush, was first admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital Saturday for shortness of breath, but on Wednesday underwent a procedure to treat an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia, McGrath said.

“Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation,” McGrath said. “President Bush is stable and resting comfortably in the ICU, where he will remain for observation.”

McGrath said doctors believe the procedure, in which a tube was used to remove a blockage in a lung, was a success. Until Wednesday morning’s issue, Bush was making great progress, McGrath said. “Yesterday, he was telling everybody he’d be out by Thursday or Friday,” he said.

Bush chief of staff Jean Becker earlier said he’s “fine and he’s doing really well,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

President Barack Obama was among those wishing George and Barbara Bush well. “They are as fine a couple as we know. So we want to send our prayers and our love to them.”

Former President Bill Clinton said his thoughts were with the Bushes after learning about their hospital stays Wednesday. Hillary Clinton also sent her well wishes in a tweet and President-elect Donald Trump said he was “looking forward to a speedy recovery”.

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