First Family

George H.W. Bush to be moved from ICU, Barbara Bush discharged

Casey Stegall reports from Houston


President George H.W. Bush was set Monday to be moved out of the intensive care unit and onto a regular hospital floor, and his wife, Barbara Bush, has been discharged – though she’s expected to soon be back by her 92-year-old husband’s side.

The former president could be discharged from Houston Methodist Hospital as soon as Friday, though a weekend release may be more realistic, pulmonologist Dr. Clint Doerr said during a news conference at Houston Methodist Hospital.

“He is sitting up watching TV and is waiting anxiously for his favorite oyster stew for lunch,” Doerr said. “He’s on minimal oxygen, joking and laughing with the nurses and doctors.”

Family spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted a photo of the smiling couple thanking the world for their prayers and good wishes. 

The 41st president still has “a fair amount” of coughing, but that issue is being addressed with various breathing treatments and he’s still receiving antibiotics.

“He’s a really strong person,” Doerr said. “He’s not your average 92-year-old.”

And, according to Doerr and hospitalist Dr. Amy Mynderse, Barbara Bush is not your typical 91-year-old, either.

“Even though she was ill, she was trying to be by his bedside the whole time,” Mynderse said. “Other than sleeping in separate rooms, she’s basically been sitting at his bedside the whole time.”

Barbara is set to return to the hospital, but this time as a visitor, not a patient.

“They’re essentially therapy for each other,” Doerr said. “They help in our compliance. When one of them doesn’t want to take a breathing treatment, the other one says, ‘Get on that. Help our cause!’”