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Bush may remain in hospital for Christmas

Jayme Frase, Houston Chronicle
Updated 2:41 pm, Monday, December 24, 2012

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  • Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush before Virginia Commonwealth played Butler in the NCAA National Semifinals at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, April 2, 2011, in Houston.  ( Nick de la Torre / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Nick De La Torre, Staff / Beaumont

    Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush before Virginia Commonwealth played Butler in the NCAA National Semifinals at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, April 2, 2011, in Houston. ( Nick de la Torre / Houston Chronicle )

    Photo: Nick De La Torre, Staff

 

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It's not clear if President George H.W. Bush will be released from Methodist Hospital in time to celebrate the holidays at home.

News: Holiday closings - What's open today and tomorrow?

Doctors said in a news release Sunday that he needs to "build up his energy" first.

The 41st president was admitted to Methodist Hospital in late November for a bronchitis-related cough and has remained there to regain strength.

Bush, 88, was improving, but recently had "a few slow days," said spokesman Jim McGrath.

"The doctors are holding on to him out of an abundance of caution," McGrath said.

He said they still hope Bush will be home for Christmas, but his doctors will have to make that call.