October 17, 2008 / 11:41 PM / in 10 years

Former first lady Nancy Reagan out of hospital

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan has been released from the hospital where she was treated after fracturing her pelvis in a fall and was expected to make a “full recovery,” her spokeswoman said on Friday.

The 87-year-old widow of President Ronald Reagan will begin daily physical therapy and reduce her public schedule following her release from the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, spokeswoman Nancy Drake said.

“I hope it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings if I don’t return anytime soon,” Reagan told doctors and staff at the hospital, recently renamed the Ronald Reagan UCLA medical center in honor of her husband, according to Drake.

Drake said Reagan also thanked those around the country who supported her with phone calls, cards, flowers and emails.

Reagan admitted herself to the hospital last week after experiencing persistent pain following her fall. Tests revealed she had suffered a fractured pelvis and sacrum — the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine between the two hip bones.

Drake said at the time that her anticipated recovery would be six to eight weeks, including physical therapy. No further details on her condition or the circumstances of her fall have been disclosed.

In February, Reagan took a spill that landed her in the hospital for two days.

A month later, Reagan made a public appearance with Republican Sen. John McCain at her home in the affluent Bel Air community of Los Angeles to endorse his candidacy for president. She has otherwise remained largely out of the limelight in recent years.

Born Anne Frances Robbins, the onetime actress appeared in films in the 1940s and 1950s as Nancy Davis and married fellow Hollywood performer Reagan in 1952.

She became first lady in 1981 after Reagan, the former governor of California, was elected president. She helped him survive blows such as an assassination attempt and cancer surgery during his eight years in the White House.

She also became known for renovating the White House and for her “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.

Her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the 1990s and she devoted much of her time to caring for him until his death in 2004.

She has since advocated federal support for embryonic stem cell research, siding against prominent Republicans including President George W. Bush.

Editing by Anthony Boadle

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