Former President George H.W. Bush remains hospitalized

Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:56am EST

Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush attend a function onboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Maine, June 10, 2012 in this U.S. Navy handout photo. The elder Bush, a former naval aviator, and his family members were attending a reenlistment ceremony on the carrier named for him. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout

Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush attend a function onboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Maine, June 10, 2012 in this U.S. Navy handout photo. The elder Bush, a former naval aviator, and his family members were attending a reenlistment ceremony on the carrier named for him.

Credit: Reuters/U.S. Navy/Handout

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(Reuters) - Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been hospitalized for a month undergoing treatment for bronchitis, may not be released from a Houston hospital in time to celebrate Christmas at home as doctors had hoped.

Bush, 88, remained in stable condition and doctors were optimistic he would make a full recovery, George Kovacik, a spokesman at Methodist Hospital, said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

But doctors were being "extra cautious" with his care and no discharge date had been set, the statement said. Earlier this month, Kovacik said doctors expected Bush would be able to spend Christmas at home with his family.

"His doctors feel he should build up his energy before going home," the statement said.

Bush, the 41st president and a Republican, took office in 1989 and served one term in the White House. The father of former President George W. Bush, he also is a former congressman, U.N. ambassador, CIA director and vice president for two terms under Ronald Reagan.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Vicki Allen)

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