Former President George H. W. Bush improving, spokesman says

Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:15pm EST

1 of 4. Former President George H.W. Bush smiles as he listens to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak as he met with Bush to pick up his formal endorsement in Houston March 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Donna Carson

(Reuters) - Former President George H. W. Bush remained in the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital on Friday, but "continues to improve" and his exchanges with medical staff now include singing, according to a statement from a Bush family spokesman.

Bush, 88, was admitted to Methodist Hospital on November 23 for bronchitis. He was transferred to intensive care on Sunday after setbacks including a persistent fever.

"President Bush remains in the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital, where he continues to improve," family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement on Friday. "The president is alert and, as always, in good spirits -- and his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing."

The statement said that the Bushes, like their doctors, are "cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective." The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes, McGrath said.

On Thursday evening, McGrath released a statement from Bush mourning the death of retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the U.S. and allied forces that routed Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein's military from Kuwait during a six-week war in 1991, while Bush was president.

Bush has lower-body parkinsonism, which causes a loss of balance, and has used a wheelchair for more than a year.

Bush was the 41st U.S. president and is the father of former President George W. Bush. In a political career spanning four decades, Bush, a Republican, also served as a congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China, CIA director, and vice president for two terms under Ronald Reagan.

(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Leslie Adler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
americanguy wrote:
“Put the harps back in the closet”.
I will definitely store that one for future use when people start beating the death drums for someone who is still alive.

Dec 27, 2012 9:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.