Bush spokesman: Former president fighting fever in ICU


by KHOU.com staff & Associated Press


Posted on December 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 2:12 AM

HOUSTON -- A spokesman says the fever that kept former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston hospital over Christmas has worsened, and doctors have put him on a liquids-only diet.

The president has been in intensive care since Sunday, KREM 2's sister station KHOU 11 News learned on Wednesday.

Jim McGrath had said earlier that the fever had gone away. He later corrected himself and said the fever “elevated” in recent days. McGrath says doctors also put the 88-year-old former president on a liquid diet, though he could not say why.

McGrath says doctors have been treating the “stubborn” fever with Tylenol but still haven’t nailed down a cause.

McGrath said Wednesday, “His doctors have said emphatically this is not the end game.”

When asked how Bush looks, McGrath said it looks like “he went a few rounds with Mike Tyson.”

McGrath says his bronchitis-like cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital on Nov. 23 has improved and the 41st president now coughs only about once a day.

Bush’s daughter, Dorothy, is to arrive Wednesday in Houston from Bethesda, Md. Former president George W. Bush is also making plans to come to Houston to be with his father.

The president is said to be in "guarded" condition, but he is alert and talking with family and his doctor.

The following statement was released by the Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath Wednesday evening:

"Following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, President Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday where he remains in guarded condition. Doctors at Methodist continue to be cautiously optimistic about the current course of treatment. The President is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family."