President George H. W. Bush hospitalized in Houston

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by Michelle Homer & Doug Miller

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 3:34 PM

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HOUSTON — Former President George H. W. Bush has been in a Houston hospital for the past week battling a cough, his spokesperson confirmed.

He was admitted to Methodist Hospital the day after Thanksgiving after being in and out of the hospital in recent weeks with bronchitis.

"It’s developed over the last couple of weeks, but it finally got to the point after Thanksgiving that they wanted to admit him," said spokesman Jim McGrath.

McGrath says Bush is otherwise healthy, getting "plenty of great TLC" from personnel at Methodist .

"He’s lapping it all up," according to McGrath.

In a written statement, Methodist Hospital said President Bush, 88, is in stable condition and will be discharged "in the next 72 hours." 

"If you asked him, he would tell you he’s getting out this afternoon," McGrath said.

Barbara Bush has been by his side in the hospital. President George. W. Bush and his wife Laura visited the elder Bush Sunday. A spokesman for the younger Bush, who lives in Dallas, declined to comment and referred questions to the 41st president’s representatives in Houston.

Other relatives, including son Neil, have also stopped by.

President Bush also has a form of Parkinson’s disease that affects his legs. In June, son Jeb Bush told CBS newsman Charlie Rose that his father now relies on a wheelchair or walker to get around.

"That’s hard for a guy who’s been so vital and vigorous in life," said Jeb Bush.

The elder Bush sounded more update about his condition, known as vascular Parkinsonism, in a recent interview.

"It just affects the legs," he told Parade magazine. "It’s not painful. You tell your legs to move and they don’t move. It’s strange, but if you have to have some bad-sounding disease, this is a good one to get."

Primary treatments for vascular Parkinsonism focus on reducing stroke risk factors, aspirin therapy to prevent blood clots and physical therapy.

The Bushes skipped the Republican National Convention in August, citing health problems. He attended a Texans game at Reliant Stadium in early November and at the PGA’s Ryder Cup in September.

Until recent years, Bush has belied his age by going skydiving to celebrate turning 75, 80 and 85 years old.

The Bushes make their winter home in Houston and spend summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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