President George H.W. Bush (Credit: Getty Images for HBO)
HOUSTON (TheBlaze/AP) -- A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush is in the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital.
Bush's spokesman, Jim McGrath, said late Wednesday that the former president was admitted to the ICU on Sunday at Methodist Hospital, "following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever."
"He is considered in guarded condition," McGrath said. "He has suffered a series of setbacks."
McGrath says Bush is alert and conversing with medical staff, and that doctors are cautiously optimistic about his treatment.
No other details about his medical condition were provided, but McGrath says Bush is surrounded by family.
Earlier Wednesday, McGrath said a fever that kept Bush in the hospital over Christmas had gotten worse and that doctors had put him on a liquids-only diet.
A bronchitis-like cough initially brought Bush to the hospital in late November. McGrath says the cough has improved.
Trees and shrubs line the street in front of Methodist Hospital in Houston's Medical Center Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Former President George H.W. Bush is at Methodist for treatment of a lingering cough. Credit: AP
Former President George H.W. Bush, and his wife former first lady Barbara Bush. Credit: AP
McGrath had said earlier in the day that the fever had gone away, but he later corrected himself.
"It's an elevated fever, so it's actually gone up in the last day or two," McGrath told The Associated Press. "It's a stubborn fever that won't go away."
Bush was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara, his son, Neil, and Neil's wife, Maria, and a grandson, McGrath said. Bush's daughter, Dorothy, will arrive Wednesday in Houston from Bethesda, Md. The 41st president has also been visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.
Bush and his wife live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The former president was a naval aviator in World War II - at one point the youngest in the Navy - and was shot down over the Pacific. He achieved notoriety in retirement for skydiving on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House in 1992.
Featured image via Getty