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HOUSTON, TEXAS — Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush was moved to a regular patient room at a Texas hospital on Saturday after spending nearly a week in an intensive care unit, his spokesman said. It remains unclear if he could be released anytime soon.
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for Bush, said the former president's condition has continued to improve since he suffered a series of setbacks, including a persistent fever. "He has been moved today from the intensive care unit to a regular patient room at The Methodist Hospital to continue his recovery," he said.
Bush, 88, was first admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on November 23 when he suffered from bronchitis and a lingering cough. He had been expected to be released by Christmas but was then moved to an intensive care unit on December 23 after a number of medical complications, a fact which was not made public until December 26.
But McGrath said on Friday that Bush is alert and in good spirits, and that his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing. "The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes and, like their doctors, are cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective," he said.
Bush, the 41st President of the United States, was in office from January 1989 until January 1993. He also served two terms as President Ronald Reagan's vice president from 1981 until 1989, and he is further the father of former President George W. Bush, who was in office from 2001 until 2009.