Dec 26, 2012 No Comments ›› Angelia
Former President George H.W. Bush was in the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital Wednesday night after battling a persistent fever all week, his spokesman said.
The 41st president has been at Methodist Hospital for more than a month now.
Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston, said the 88-year-old’s fever rose on Wednesday, but doctors at Methodist Hospital report he is doing better than the day before. He was admitted to the ICU on Sunday and since has been on an all-liquid diet.
“He is considered in guarded condition,” McGrath said. “He has suffered a series of setbacks.” The fever is being treated with Tylenol, but it’s not responding to the treatment.
McGrath was not sure what caused the fever.
McGrath said Bush is alert, having a “running banter” with his nurses and is surrounded by family. “His doctors have said emphatically this is not the end game,” McGrath said.
Bush has had various health problems in recent years.
In February, it was reported that he had been diagnosed with lower body Parkinsonism, a condition that causes instability from the waist down. As a result, he mostly uses a wheelchair.
On Nov. 7, he was admitted to the hospital for a lingering bronchitis-like cough and was discharged Nov. 19. He was then readmitted the day after Thanksgiving, when the cough wouldn’t go away. He has been in the hospital since.
Bush spent Christmas Day in the hospital with his wife, Barbara, and several family members who live in Houston. The family ordered food from Gigi’s Asian Bistro in the Galleria, where they traditionally eat on Christmas Day. The president was unable to partake because of his all-liquid diet, McGrath said.
Two sons — former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — have visited him during his hospital stay and are planning to visit again soon.
Bush and his wife reside in Houston during the winter and spend their summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The former president was a naval aviator in World War II.
He achieved notoriety in retirement for skydiving on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House.
The oldest living former president, Bush, a former vice president, congressman and CIA director, served as president from 1989 to 1993.