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Ex-President George H.W. Bush leaves the hospital

HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush was released from a Houston hospital Monday after spending nearly two months being treated for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues, a family spokesman said.

Bush, 88, the nation's oldest living former president, was admitted to Methodist Hospital Nov. 23 including a week in intensive care last month.

"I am deeply grateful for the wonderful doctors and nurses at Methodist who took such good care of me," Bush said in a statement released by spokesman Jim McGrath. "Let me add just how touched we were by the many get-well messages we received from our friends and fellow Americans. Your prayers and good wishes helped more than you know, and as I head home my only concern is that I will not be able to thank each of you for your kind words."

Bush already had been in the hospital about a month for treatment of the persistent cough in December when his office disclosed he was in intensive care because physicians were having difficulty controlling a fever that developed after the cough was mostly resolved.

On Dec. 29, Bush's office said the former president had improved and was transferred back to a regular hospital room. Since then, his condition has continued to improve and he has been undergoing physical therapy to rebuild his strength.

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