Ryan, convicted in 2006 on federal corruption charges, spent about two hours with his wife Wednesday evening, said a brief filed by the U.S. attorney's office as part of Ryan's appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ryan is serving a 78-month sentence.
Lura Lynn Ryan is believed to have only weeks to live. She is hospitalized at Riverside Medical Center in the Ryans' hometown of Kankakee.
"Although the serious medical problems suffered by his wife are truly unfortunate, they do not warrant special treatment with respect to bail pending appeal in the context of post-conviction proceedings," the court document said.
"The government does not dispute that Mrs. Ryan's medical condition is grave. In fact, recognizing the seriousness of her condition, on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, the Bureau of Prisons granted Ryan an escorted trip to the hospital where is wife is being treated. There, according to officials at the Bureau of Prisons, Ryan visited with his wife for approximately two hours."
Lame-duck Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Thursday called for the court, or the prison warden in Terra Haute, Ind., to release Ryan to be at his wife's side.
"I'm very sympathetic to that, yes, and to many other people in jail, yes. ... When their loved one is dying. I have sympathy -- and not just for (former) Governor Ryan, but anyone whose child or mother or father is dying. There has to be sympathy there. We cannot be so hardened that there's no sympathy in our heart," Daley said told reporters according to the Chicago Sun-Times.