US & Canada

George HW Bush still in intensive care

The former president and first lady Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The former president and first lady are recovering in the Houston Methodist Hospital

Former US President George HW Bush and his wife Barbara Bush remain in hospital in Houston, Texas, according to a spokesman.

The 41st president, who was admitted with pneumonia on Saturday, is still in the intensive care unit, relying on a ventilator to breathe.

The 92-year-old had a breathing tube inserted on Wednesday in a procedure to clear his airway.

Wife, Barbara, who has had bronchitis, said she was feeling "1,000% better".

Mrs Bush, 91, was admitted on Wednesday suffering from fatigue and a cough.

"President Bush had a good night's rest," spokesman Jim McGrath said on Thursday.

"We are hopeful he will be discharged from the ICU in a few days."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr and Mrs Bush celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on 6 January.

He said the couple had received "an uplifting visit" from longtime friend former Secretary of State James Baker, who lives in Houston.

President-elect Donald Trump, President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton have sent their well wishes via Twitter.

In a letter addressed 10 January, Mr Bush - the oldest living US president - wrote to Mr Trump to excuse himself from attending his inauguration as 45th US president on Friday.

Mr Bush wrote that "my doctor says if I sit outside in January, it will likely put me six feet under".

"Same for Barbara. So I guess we're stuck in Texas," he wrote, adding that they will be "with you and the country in spirit".

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Media captionFormer US president George HW Bush celebrated his 90th birthday with a sky dive

Mr Bush, who served as US president from 1989-93, spent a week in hospital in the US state of Maine in 2015 after falling and breaking a neck bone.

He also suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a wheelchair.

Mr Bush's son, George W Bush, was elected president in 2000 and served two terms as the nation's 43rd president.

The elder Bush was born 12 June 1924, in Massachusetts and also served as a congressman, CIA director and vice-president to Ronald Reagan.

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