Persistent Case Of Bronchitis Lands Former President In Hospital

(Jan. 25, 2008) Former President George H. W. Bush wears the cowboy-style hard hat presented to him by Capt. Kevin O'Flaherty, commanding officer of the Precommissioning Unit (PCU). U.S. Navy photo By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Narina Reynoso (Released).
Former President George H.W. Bush could be on his way home this weekend after a bout with bronchitis landed him in the hospital this week. Bush's doctors want to make sure he's okay before he's released from Methodist Hospital.

The former president has been in and out of the hospital this month with a persistent case of bronchitis, which included a deep cough that wouldn't go away. He was re-admitted last Friday. After increasing his medications, doctors at Methodist Hospital think they've finally defeated the infection.

Jim McGrath is Bush's spokesman and says the former President is ready to go home.

"If you talk to him, he'd tell you he's getting out this afternoon because he feels that good. But the doctors aren't going to take any chances with this, particularly with this being his second round of being admitted. He's 88, so they want to see this cough go away a little further before they feel comfortable with letting him go home."
 
McGrath says Bush is in good spirits and has had a couple of visitors, including his son, former President George W. Bush.

"He was there on Sunday. He and Laura were in town and popped by. Neil, of course, who lives here in town, and Maria his wife have been over there constantly. Mrs. Bush has been constantly by his side and the source of great strength and she's watching the door to make sure too many visitors don't poke their head in there."

McGrath says the bronchitis never developed into a more serious case of pneumonia, but doctors want to make sure before they send him home. The former president spends most of the year at his home in the Memorial area.