Doctors consider removing tube for 41st President Bush


Associated Press

HOUSTON

Doctors treating former President George H.W. Bush for pneumonia considered Thursday whether to take out a breathing tube while his wife, Barbara, said she was feeling much better after undergoing treatment for bronchitis.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said physicians for the 92-year-old Bush were evaluating him for removal of the tube, which was inserted Wednesday in a procedure to clear his airway.

The 41st president has been in the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital since Wednesday, relying on a ventilator to breathe. Removing the tube – a procedure known as extubation – would allow Bush to breathe on his own. He was struggling to breathe when he was admitted to the hospital Saturday.

Bush “had a good night’s rest” and remained in stable condition, McGrath said. “We are hopeful he will be discharged from the ICU in a few days.”

Barbara Bush, 91, was admitted Wednesday and diagnosed with bronchitis after feeling fatigued and coughing for weeks. She reported feeling “1,000 percent better” on Thursday.

“Antibiotics and some good rest seem to have restored her to better health,” McGrath said.

The couple received “an uplifting visit” from longtime friends former Secretary of State James Baker and his wife, Susan, who also live in Houston, McGrath said.

President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama have sent their well wishes, via Twitter and a news conference, respectively. Former President Bill Clinton also tweeted: “41 and Barbara – thinking about you both and sending wishes for a speedy recovery. Love, 42.”

Former President George W. Bush offered thanks on Instagram Thursday for messages “of love and support for Mother and Dad.”

“Your prayers are working: 41 and Mom are doing much better today and fighting on,” he said.

Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush “look forward to representing them” at Trump’s inauguration today in Washington

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