Ex-president Bush breathing normally, still in hospital

Former US president George H.W. Bush is now breathing normally, but he will stay at least one more night at a Texas hospital, his spokesman said Monday.

Bush, 90, was admitted December 23 to Houston Methodist Hospital. It was unclear when he might be discharged, but spokesman Jim McGrath hinted his departure could come soon.

"President Bush`s breathing has returned to normal, but he will remain at the Houston Methodist Hospital tonight pending final approval from his doctors to return home," McGrath said in a statement. 

"Both president and Mrs Bush wish to thank everyone for their good wishes and prayers."

He received family visits on Christmas Day, and McGrath said he was making progress.

The oldest of the four living former US presidents, Bush, who uses a wheelchair, seemed frail in recent public appearances.

He was treated at Houston Methodist in November 2012 for bronchitis, and ended up spending nearly two months at the hospital.

Barbara Bush, the former president`s wife, was admitted to the same Houston hospital nearly a year ago.

Suffering from pneumonia, the former first lady was released from the hospital in January.

Bush, patriarch of one of America`s most prominent political dynasties, is father to former US president George W. Bush.

Another son, Jeb, last week announced that he was laying the foundation for his own 2016 White House bid.

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