Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush arrive to make remarks at Reception in Honor of the Points of Light Institute in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C,. on January 7, 2009. Barbara Bush was released from a Houston hospital Monday and her husband was to be transferred out of intensive care. Pool photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Doctors said they expect former President George H.W. Bush will be moved out of an intensive care unit Monday and that his wife, Barbara Bush, was discharged from Houston Methodist Hospital earlier in the day.
Dr. Clint Doerr, the former president's pulmonologist, said at a news conference Bush could be fully discharged from the hospital Friday but it's more likely it will be over the weekend. The 92-year-old has been hospitalized since Jan. 14 with bacterial pneumonia. He earlier was diagnosed with vascular parkinsonism, a rare syndrome that mimics Parkinson's disease. Doctors removed a breathing tube Friday morning and he was breathing well on his own, a doctor said.
He entered intensive care Wednesday, the same day Barbara Bush, 90, was hospitalized with fatigue and coughing that later was diagnosed as viral bronchitis.
"They're essentially therapy for each other," Doerr said. "They help in our compliance. When one of them doesn't want to take a breathing treatment, the other one says, 'Get on that. Help our cause!'"
Bush, the oldest-living former president, had previously said he and his wife would not attend the inauguration last Friday of Donald Trump in Washington. But they watched the ceremony together in the hospital.
Dr. Amy Mynderse, a hospitalist at Houston Methodist, said Monday that "he is sitting up and watching TV, and anxiously awaiting his favorite oyster stew for lunch. He's on minimal oxygen, joking and laughing with the nurses and doctors." A hospitalist works in internal medicine as a staff member at the hospital.
"He's a really strong person," Doerr said. "He's not your average 92-year-old."
And Barbara Bush is spry too.
"Even though she was ill, she was trying to be by his bedside the whole time," Mynderse said. "Other than sleeping in separate rooms, she's basically been sitting at his bedside the whole time."