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George H.W. Bush, wife Barbara, recovering from illnesses

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HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, continued to improve Saturday as they recover from illnesses at Houston Methodist Hospital, a family spokesman said.

“President Bush is breathing well without any mechanical assistance, his spirits are high, and he is looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule,” spokesman Jim McGrath said.

Bush, 92, entered the hospital a week ago after experiencing breathing difficulties that doctors determined were related to pneumonia. Physicians on Wednesday inserted a breathing tube, a ventilator was employed to assist his breathing and he was moved into intensive care. The tube was removed Friday.

“President Bush will be remaining in the ICU for observation for a few more days,” McGrath said. “He is looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule.”

The nation’s 41st president felt well enough to call his office Friday evening to check in with his staff, according to McGrath.

Former first lady Barbara Bush, 91, entered the hospital Wednesday after feeling run down and coughing for the past few weeks. Doctors determined she had bronchitis, prescribed antibiotics and by the following day she reported feeling much better. She’s been kept in the hospital for observation and rest but could be discharged on Sunday, McGrath said.

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

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