A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush's condition continues to improve, and that he was moved Saturday out of intensive care into a regular hospital room at Methodist Hospital.
Bush, the oldest living former president, was in intensive care since Sunday. He was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on Nov. 23 for treatment of what his spokesman Jim McGrath described as a "stubborn" cough. He had spent about a week there earlier in November for treatment of the same condition.
"The President is alert and, as always, in good spirits," McGrath said Friday. "The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes and, like their doctors, are cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective."
At the request of Barbara Bush, the Oakridge Boys serenaded former President George H.W. Bush over the phone with a rendition of "Amazing Grace."
William Lee Golden, the silky smooth baritone of the famous country group, talked to local 2 by phone Saturday.
“Well, he said his first request he would love to hear some of Elvira and then “Amazing Grace.”
The performance came as news spread that the former president’s condition was upgraded.
The 88-year-old, who's had bronchitis, is now in a regular hospital room and out of Methodist's ICU.
“He sounded like he was stronger and he sounded fine like the president we know,” said Golden.
Jean Becker, Bush's longtime Houston chief of staff, said "most of the civilized world" contacted her Wednesday after word spread that Bush had been placed in intensive care unit when physicians were having difficulty bringing a fever under control.
"Someday President George H.W. Bush might realize how beloved he is, but of course one of the reasons why he is so beloved is because he has no idea," Becker said in the at-times lighthearted statement that made multiple references to jokes and the former president's sense of humor.
She said updates about Bush's condition have been limited "out of respect for President Bush and the Bush family who, like most of us, prefer to deal with health issues in privacy." She said another factor was "because he is so beloved we knew everyone would overreact."
"I hope you all know how much your love, concern and support are appreciated," Becker said.
While the president's treatment was "unequaled anywhere," she said prayers also were needed and welcomed.
"I am thinking heaven has not seen such a barrage of prayer intentions since 'It's a Wonderful Life,'" she said, referring to the classic Christmas movie.
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