Ex-President George W Bush leaves hospital

Former US President George H W Bush has been discharged from a hospital here, where he spent nearly two months receiving treatment for complications to bronchitis. "Bush has improved to the point that he will not need any special medication when he goes home, but he will continue physical therapy," Dr Amy Mynderse, the internal medicine physician in charge of care, said in a statement.

The 41st US president was admitted on November 23 for bronchitis. Complications quickly arose, including a persistent fever, cough and bacterial infection, causing him to receive intensive care and leading to fears that the 88-year-old's health would continue to decline.

"I am deeply grateful for the wonderful doctors and nurses at Methodist who took such good care of me," Bush said in a statement. Bush, the nation's oldest living former president, was also in intensive care for a week last month. His office said he was treated for a bacterial infection, along with the bronchitis and cough. Bush and his wife Barbara live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers in Kennebunkport, Maine. On January 6, they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.They are the longest-married presidential couple.

Bush had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988 to be the nation's 41st president. Four years later, after a term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait, he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voter concerns about the economy.

Bush has a long record of service, beginning with his enlistment in the Navy in World War II. At one point, he was the nation's youngest naval aviator. He was shot down in the Pacific and rescued by an American submarine. He's also been a congressman from Texas, US ambassador to China and CIA director. He suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around.

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