former President George H.W. Bush, White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
7:10PM EST November 29. 2012 - Former president George H.W. Bush has been in a Houston hospital for a week for treatment of bronchitis and is expected to be discharged over the weekend.
Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, has been in and out of Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center for the past few weeks, his office said in a statement. He is being treated for complications from bronchitis.
Bush, 88, is in stable condition, his office said.
"We have kept this quiet out of respect for him," Bush chief of staff Jean Becker told the Houston Chronicle. Becker said there were some earlier concerns that the cough would turn into pneumonia, but it has not.
Amy Myunderse, the physician in charge of his care, said in a news release Thursday that Bush is sitting up, moving and walking as much as he can.
"This was never a serious or life-threatening situation," Mynderse said. "We simply wanted to prevent the progression of the disease into pneumonia, which is possible in any patient at this age."
Bush was admitted with viral bronchitis, which was treated with intravenous steroids and antibiotics, she said. He then developed a secondary bacterial infection, which has improved.
"He is definitely in great spirits," she said. "He is happy, joking and definitely getting better."
Bush also suffers a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter.
Bush, a Republican, was the 41st president. He led the nation during the first Gulf War against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The Berlin Wall also fell and the Soviet Union dissolved under his watch.
Bush lives in Houston with his wife, Barbara. He is the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, who visted him at the hospital, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.