41st President Bush stable, wife ‘1,000 percent better’

The 41st president was placed in the ICU to address "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia"

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, former President George H. W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara, are greeted before a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston in Houston. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit, and Barbara was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman.
FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, former President George H. W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara, are greeted before a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston in Houston. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit, and Barbara was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman (AP Photo/David J. Phillip).

HOUSTON (AP) — Doctors treating former President George H.W. Bush for pneumonia considered Thursday whether to take out a breathing tube while his wife, Barbara, said she was feeling much better after undergoing treatment for bronchitis.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said physicians for the 92-year-old Bush were evaluating him for removal of the tube, which was inserted Wednesday in a procedure to clear his airway.

The 41st president has been in the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital since Wednesday, relying on a ventilator to breathe. Removing the tube — a procedure known as extubation — would allow Bush to breathe on his own. He was struggling to breathe when he was admitted to the hospital Saturday.

Bush “had a good night’s rest” and remained in stable condition, McGrath said. “We are hopeful he will be discharged from the ICU in a few days.”

Barbara Bush, 91, was admitted Wednesday and diagnosed with bronchitis after feeling fatigued and coughing for weeks. She reported feeling “1,000 percent better” on Thursday.

“Antibiotics and some good rest seem to have restored her to better health,” McGrath said.

The couple received “an uplifting visit” from longtime friends former Secretary of State James Baker and his wife, Susan, who also live in Houston, McGrath said.

President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama have sent their well wishes, via Twitter and a news conference, respectively. Former President Bill Clinton also tweeted: “41 and Barbara — thinking about you both and sending wishes for a speedy recovery. Love, 42.”

Former President George W. Bush offered thanks on Instagram Thursday for messages “of love and support for Mother and Dad.”

“Your prayers are working: 41 and Mom are doing much better today and fighting on,” he said in his first public comments about their illnesses.

Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush “look forward to representing them” at Trump’s inauguration Friday in Washington “while they continue to recover in Houston.”

Even though he was hospitalized, the elder Bush’s Twitter account was active Thursday, offering “hearty congrats” to former Houston Astros baseball player Jeff Bagwell on his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

McGrath said while Bush did not physically type the tweet, he did approve it from his hospital room, calling the Astros’ former slugging first baseman a “good friend and great player” and praising his election Wednesday to Cooperstown.

Bush was a first baseman when he attended Yale, and was captain of the Yale team that played in the first College World Series in 1947. As president, he kept his first baseman’s glove in his desk in the Oval Office, and he and his wife have frequently attended Astros games since leaving the White House.

The Bushes were married Jan. 6, 1945, and have had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. At the time of their wedding, he was a young naval aviator. She had been a student at Smith College.

After World War II, they moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune and raise a family. It was there that George Bush began his political career, representing Houston for two terms in Congress in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

George Herbert Walker Bush, born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, also served as CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s