Ex-first lady Barbara Bush leaves Houston hospital

Jan 4, 2014, 5:57 PM

HOUSTON (AP) – Former first lady Barbara Bush praised the staff of a Texas hospital where she spent nearly a week being treated for pneumonia before going home Saturday.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for President George H.W. Bush and his wife, says doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital decided Saturday morning to allow Barbara Bush to go home. The 88-year-old Bush family matriarch had been hospitalized since Monday.

“I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible,” Bush said. The Bushes are well-known dog lovers and live in Houston.

McGrath had no immediate information on future treatment for Bush.

“She’s great. She’s had a couple of great days. She’s responded well to the medication,” McGrath said.

The nation’s longest-married presidential first couple will celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary Monday.

Barbara Bush had heart surgery in March 2009 for a severe narrowing of the main heart valve. She also was hospitalized in November 2008, when she underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer. In 2010, she was admitted to the hospital after having a mild relapse of Graves disease, a thyroid condition for which she was treated in 1989.

Her 89-year-old husband spent nearly two months in the same hospital and was discharged in January 2013 after treatment for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues.

Their son, George W. Bush, served as the 43rd U.S. president.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Ex-first lady Barbara Bush leaves Houston hospital