Former US president George Bush has been admitted to hospital a day after his wife’s funeral.Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalised in Houston with an infection, just after attending the funeral of his wife, Barbara, a spokesman says.
Jim McGrath said on Monday on Twitter that the 93-year-old is “responding to treatments and appears to be recovering.”
He was admitted on Sunday morning to Houston Methodist Hospital after an infection spread to his blood, McGrath said on Monday.
Barbara Bush was laid to rest on Saturday in a ceremony attended by her husband and former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and their wives, along with current first lady Melania Trump.
Barbara Bush was 92, and she and her husband had been married 73 years – the longest presidential marriage in US history.
George H.W. Bush uses a wheelchair and electric scooter after developing a form of Parkinson’s disease, and he has needed hospital treatment several times in recent years for respiratory problems.
McGrath wouldn’t elaborate on Monday night on the specifics of Bush’s condition, saying additional updates would be issued “as events warrant.”
But he said the 41st president was eager to get well so he can get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
“He’s the most goal-oriented person on this planet,” McGrath said.
Their son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, indicated during his eulogy on Saturday that his father had been hospitalised recently at the same time Barbara Bush was in the hospital for the last time.
“I think Dad got sick on purpose so that he could be with her,” Jeb Bush said.
First lady Melania Trump tweeted Monday evening she was sending “healing thoughts of strength, along with prayers, for George HW Bush tonight.”
A year ago the former president spent two weeks in hospital for treatment of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, a constant irritation of the lining of tubes that carry air to one’s lungs.
His doctors said chronic bronchitis is a condition more prevalent with age and can aggravate the symptoms of pneumonia.
The elder Bush was hospitalised for 16 days in January 2017 for pneumonia. During that stay, which included time in intensive care, doctors inserted a breathing tube and connected him to a ventilator.
He also was hospitalised in 2015 in Maine after falling at home and breaking a bone in his neck, and in December 2014 for about a week for shortness of breath. He spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.
People in their 90s with Parkinson’s disease are often at higher risk of pneumonia and other infections because their swallowing process can be compromised, said Dr. David Reuben, professor of geriatric medicine at the UCLA medical school in Los Angeles.
“And the stress of losing a loved one can weaken the immune system,” he said.
George Herbert Walker Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993. Born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, Bush also served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.
Australian Associated Press