HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush was released from a Houston hospital on Friday after spending 13 days being treated for an infection that required his hospitalization a day after his wife’s funeral. Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 93-year-old Bush, tweeted that doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital “report he is doing well” and that the former president is “happy to return home.” The nation’s 41st president was admitted to the hospital on April 22 for treatment of an infection that spread to his blood. Bush spent some time in an intensive care unit before being moved to a regular patient room.
Bush was hospitalized a day after he attended the funeral and burial of his 92-year-old wife, Barbara, who died on April 17 at their Houston home. Married for 73 years, the Bushes were the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. In a tweet sent out during his hospitalization, Bush thanked Houston for its “professionalism and obvious care” during the memorials and services for his wife. McGrath had previously said Bush was eager to get well so he could get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He also noted that while hospitalized, Bush had been more focused on the Houston Rockets playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves “than anything that landed him in the hospital.”
The Rockets won the series 4-1 on April 25. Bush, frequently accompanied by his wife, has long been a fixture at Houston sporting events. Bush has used a wheelchair and an electric scooter for mobility since developing a form of Parkinson’s disease, and he has needed hospital treatment several times in recent years for respiratory problems. Few details were released about Bush’s most recent illness. But medical experts say that 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. Experts also say that the stress of losing a loved one can weaken the immune system.
His son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, indicated during his eulogy at his mother’s funeral service that his father had been hospitalized recently at the same time Barbara Bush was in the hospital for the last time. Those hospitalizations were not publicly disclosed at the time. Jeb Bush said he believed his father “got sick on purpose so that he could be with her.”
George Herbert Walker Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993. Born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, Bush also served as a Texas congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.