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George H.W. Bush improving, wife staying night in hospital

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HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush’s health continues to improve and his wife, who is also recovering from illness, has chosen to remain hospitalized one more night to be “closer to her husband,” a family spokesman said Sunday.

The 92-year-old former president and his wife Barbara remained at Houston Methodist Hospital. He has been receiving treatment for breathing difficulties from pneumonia while she is recovering from bronchitis.

The 41st president’s vital signs are normal and doctors hope he can be moved out of intensive care in the next day or two, said Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath.

Bush has been in the Houston hospital now for a week. Doctors on Wednesday inserted a breathing tube, and a ventilator was employed to assist his breathing. The tube was removed Friday.

Barbara Bush, 91, entered the hospital Wednesday after feeling run down and coughing for the past few weeks. Doctors determined she had bronchitis. Her health has improved since receiving treatment.

“Mrs. Bush was given the option of being discharged today, but has elected to remain at Houston Methodist Hospital one more evening to continue her recovery and to be closer to her husband,” McGrath said.

McGrath added the Bushes wanted to make sure “they thank their well-wishers for their kindness, and especially their prayers.”

In a tweet on Saturday, McGrath said the couple’s spirits were up, they were very interested “in inauguration doings” and were “very happy” that President Donald Trump went to see the men and women of the CIA. On Saturday, Trump traveled to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and spoke to a group of about 400 people in attendance. Bush served as CIA director from 1976 to 1977.

The couple’s 72-year marriage is the longest of any presidential couple in American history.

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