(CBSNEWS) - After weeks in the hospital as a result of a lingering cough, former President George H. W. Bush may well enough by the holidays to celebrate at home with his family, according to a spokesperson at the hospital where he is being treated.
Bush, who suffered from bronchitis in November, has been in and out of the hospital since then. The day after Thanksgiving, he was readmitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston and has been undergoing treatment related to lingering side effects of bronchitis ever since. But according to the hospital spokesperson, his health has improved to the point that he's almost up for release.
"President Bush's condition has steadily improved to the point that, instead of battling the lingering effects of bronchitis, the focus of his treatment now centers on a physical therapy program designed to increase his strength in advance of his eventual discharge," said hospital spokesman George Kovacik. "Given his current pace of progress, doctors expect that President
Bush will be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family -- though no release date has been set at this time." Mr. Bush, who is 88 years old, served as president from 1989 through 1993 and as vice president under Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1989.
Yesterday, Bush's granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager announced that she is pregnant with her first child.