Ex-President Bush: Condition Worse, How Serious Is His Illness?

By iScience Times Staff Reporter on December 26, 2012 10:09 PM EST

Ex-president George H.W. Bush (L) attends the afternoon four-ball round at the 39th Ryder Cup matches at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, September 29, 2012.
Though ex-president George H.W. Bush (L) was able to attend a golf tournament in September, his health was already ailing. (Photo: Reuters)

Ex-President George H.W. Bush was moved to an intensive care unit at a Houston hospital on Wednesday night after struggling with a fever that wouldn't go away all week, his spokesman said today. The ex-president was immediately placed on an all-liquid diet.

The 41st president of the United States has been at Methodist Hospital for more than four weeks, heightening concern that George W. Bush's father is in grave condition.

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"He is considered in guarded condition," Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman, said about the 88-year-old Texan. "He has suffered a series of setbacks." As of now, doctors have been trying to use Tylenol to bring down the fever, but the aspirin hasn't yet made a substantial difference.

McGrath was careful to say, though, that the ex-president's doctors are not warning that this could be the end of his life. "His doctors have said emphatically this is not the end game," McGrath said, adding that the ex-president is aware of his surroundings, speaking in a "running banter" with nurses and family.

Bush suffered from a number of health problems in 2012. In February he was diagnosed with lower body Parkinsonism, a condition that makes the legs very unstable. As a result, he has been using a wheelchair for much of the year.

Then, in November, the ex-president went to the hospital for a lingering cough. After a short stay, he left and was then readmitted during Thanksgiving with the same symptoms.

The ex-president's family was around him on Christmas. His wife, Barbara, and other family members ordered dinner from Gigi's Asian Bistro in the Galleria, the restaurant they normally go to on Christmas Day. 

The oldest living former president, George H.W. Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 18-years-old. He served until the end of World War II, and then enrolled in Yale University. In 1980, he was chosen by Ronald Reagan to be his running mate. And in 1988, he launched what became a successful campaign to succeed Reagan.

In his inaugural address, Bush said: "I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over."

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