Tuesday 22 May 2018

Ex-president George HW Bush released from hospital

He was taken to hospital a day after he attended the funeral of his 92-year-old wife, Barbara.

Former president George HW Bush, his son and other family members at the funeral for Barbara Bush (Evan Vucci/AP)
Former president George HW Bush, his son and other family members at the funeral for Barbara Bush (Evan Vucci/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Former US president George HW Bush is returning home after being taken to hospital a day after his wife’s funeral two weeks ago.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 93-year-old, tweeted that doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital “report he is doing well” and that the former president is “happy to return home”.

The nation’s 41st president was admitted to the hospital on April 22 for treatment of an infection that spread to his blood.

Mr Bush spent some time in an intensive care unit before being moved to a regular patient room.

Mr Bush was taken to hospital a day after he attended the funeral and burial of his 92-year-old wife, Barbara, who died on April 17 at their Houston home.

Married for 73 years, the Bushes were the longest-married presidential couple in US history.

In a tweet sent out during his time in hospital, Mr Bush thanked Houston for its “professionalism and obvious care” during the memorials and services for his wife.

Mr McGrath had previously said Bush was eager to get well so he could get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

He also noted that while in hospital, Mr Bush had been more focused on the Houston Rockets play-off series against the Minnesota Timberwolves “than anything that landed him in the hospital”.

The Rockets won the series 4-1 on April 25. Mr Bush, frequently accompanied by his wife, has long been a fixture at Houston sporting events.

Mr Bush has used a wheelchair and an electric scooter for mobility since developing a form of Parkinson’s disease, and he has needed hospital treatment several times in recent years for respiratory problems.

Few details were released about Mr Bush’s most recent illness.

But medical experts say that people in their 90s with Parkinson’s disease are often at higher risk of pneumonia and other infections because their swallowing process can be compromised.

Experts also say that the stress of losing a loved one can weaken the immune system.

His son, former Florida govrnor Jeb Bush, indicated during his eulogy at his mother’s funeral service that his father had been in hospital recently at the same time Barbara Bush was in the hospital for the last time.

Jeb Bush said he believed his father “got sick on purpose so that he could be with her”.

George Herbert Walker Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993. Born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, Mr Bush also served as a Texas congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

Press Association

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