Biography of George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush discharged from hospital after pneumonia diagnosis

>> Read more trending stories

Bush was treated for bacterial pneumonia.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said Thursday that the 41st president was taking his last round of antibiotics.

McGrath said Wednesday that Bush's physicians anticipated his release over the weekend and that he was steadily recovering.

"President Bush continues to improve as he recovers from pneumonia," McGrath wrote on Twitter. "Despite a lingering cough, his lungs are clearing up, and he is working with physical therapists to regain strength." 

On Tuesday, McGrath said Bush was "sitting up; talking with physicians, staff and visitors; and returning phone calls."

Bush's wife, Barbara, was discharged from the hospital Jan. 23 after a case of viral bronchitis, but she stayed at the hospital by her husband's side, McGrath said.

"The fact that he is doing so well just five days after the event … I think is a real testament to the pulmonary team … but also to him," Dr. Amy Mynderse said Jan. 23 at a news conference. "He's a really strong person. He's not your average 92-year-old."

Medical staff moved George Bush out of the intensive care unit on Jan. 23, where he was getting treatment.

George Bush went to Houston Methodist Hospital on Jan. 14 for "shortness of breath," McGrath said. He was admitted to the intensive care unit on Jan. 18. Barbara Bush was admitted to the same hospital that day "as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing," McGrath said.

Doctors said Barbara Bush had a case of viral bronchitis and stuck by her husband's side after she was discharged.

"They truly do have just such an amazing love for each other, and that really came across here," Mynderse said. "Part of why she ended up here in the hospital is because even though she was ill, she was trying to be by the bedside all the time."

By Jan. 23, the 41st president was watching TV and joking with doctors and nurses, Mynderse said. However, Dr. Clint Doerr said, he continued to suffer from some respiratory problems.

"He still has a fair amount of coughing," Doerr said. "Friday discharge might be a little bit optimistic but Friday or over the weekend – it's a bit of a moving target."

The former president's doctors addressed "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia," according to a statement. Doctors performed a procedure to clear his airway.

George Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around. Despite that, he marked his 90th birthday with a tandem parachute jump in Maine and last summer took the helm of a speedboat as part of a fishing trip with a group of 40 wounded warriors.

George Bush was the youngest naval aviator when he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943, spurred by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II, including one that required he be rescued by a submarine after his plane was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. For his bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

It was while he was enlisted that he first met Barbara Bush, then a student at Smith College. The couple were married in Jan. 6, 1945, making theirs the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history.

The couple had six children: George W., Robin, John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. Robin died as a child. George W. Bush served two terms as president from 2001 to 2009. Jeb Bush ran for the Republican nomination in the run-up to November's election, but lost his bid to President-elect Donald Trump.

Following in the footsteps of his father, U.S. Sen. Prescott Bush (R-Connecticut), George Bush launched a career in politics in 1963 after settling with his family in Texas. He served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.

In 1989, became the first sitting vice president to secure the presidency since 1837.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

Brianna Chambers, Michelle Ewing and Theresa Seiger contributed to this report.