Bush spokesman: Former president fighting fever in ICU


KHOU.com staff and the Associated Press

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 27 at 12:18 AM

HOUSTON — A spokesman said the fever that kept former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston hospital over the Christmas holiday has worsened, and doctors have put him on a liquids-only diet.

The president has been in intensive care since Sunday, KHOU-TV learned on Wednesday.

Jim McGrath had said earlier that the fever had gone away. He later corrected himself, and said the fever “elevated” in recent days.

McGrath said doctors also put the 88-year-old former president on a liquid diet, though he could not say why.

McGrath said doctors have been treating the “stubborn” fever with Tylenol, but still haven’t nailed down a cause.

"His doctors have said emphatically this is not the 'end game,'” McGrath said Wednesday.

When asked how Bush looks, McGrath said it looks like “he went a few rounds with Mike Tyson.”

McGrath said the bronchitis-like cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital on November 23 has improved, and the 41st president now coughs only about once a day.

Bush’s daughter, Dorothy, was expected to arrive in Houston on Wednesday from Bethesda, Maryland. Former president George W. Bush is also making plans to come to Houston to be with his father.

The president is said to be in "guarded" condition, but he is alert and talking with family and his doctor.

The following statement was released by the Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath on Wednesday evening:

"Following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, President Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday where he remains in guarded condition. Doctors at Methodist continue to be cautiously optimistic about the current course of treatment. The President is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family."