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- Friday, December 28, 2012 - From Print Edition


CHICAGO: After more than a month in a Texas hospital battling bronchitis, former US president George H W. Bush has taken a turn for the worse and is in intensive care with a “stubborn fever,” a spokesman said on Thursday.


“He’s had a series of setbacks now that have landed him in guarded condition in the intensive care unit,” where he was transferred on Sunday, spokesman Jim McGrath told AFP.


“Early last week it was really looking good, but then it seemed a couple of dominoes started falling and it was taking us in the wrong direction.” The 88-year-old was first admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on November 7 for bronchitis treatment and released on November 19. But he was readmitted four days later after his cough flared up again.


Doctors had initially hoped to have the elder statesman home for Christmas, but he was instead forced to spend the holiday in the hospital, where he was joined by his wife Barbara, son Neil and grandson Pierce.


“I wouldn’t say he was able to celebrate it in the traditional sense,” McGrath said. “His family was with him, and he’s conscious and he’s able to engage in humorous banter with his doctor.”


McGrath later told AFP doctors were “cautiously optimistic” but that there was no talk yet of a discharge date.