Former president may be out of hospital soon

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HOUSTON - Former President George H.W. Bush may be getting out of the hospital soon.

Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath said the doctors feel confident the 41st president will be released from the hospital sometime this week. McGrath said the former president, who is 88, has remained upbeat despite many ups and downs over the past several weeks.

President Bush was hospitalized in late November for a nagging cough caused by bronchitis. After overcoming one setback after another, including a stubborn fever and a six-day stay in the ICU, the president's doctors remain hopeful.

"We're still taking everything one day at a time," said McGrath. "His energy fluctuates day to day, but his family and a constant stream of visitors has kept his spirits up."

With his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush by his side, the former president has been passing the time by watching lots of Texas football, including the Cotton Bowl and the Houston Texans. He is said to be reading John Meacham's newly released biography on Thomas Jefferson, and continues to engage in banter with the hospital staff.

The Bush family said they're extraordinary thankful for all the well wishes and support they've received from around Houston and across the country.

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