Former President George H.W. Bush gets good news from hospital

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President George H. W. Bush

(CNN) — Former President George H.W. Bush is making progress, and his doctors expect him to be released from the hospital within the next week so he can be home by Christmas.

“President Bush’s doctors are sticking to their timeline that he will be released before Christmas,” Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath said Monday.

Late last week Methodist Hospital, where Bush has been since November 23, said there had been improvement from the coughing associated with his bronchitis.

There is no exact release date set.

“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. While no release date has been set, doctors expect that as long as he maintains his current pace of progress he will celebrate Christmas at home with his family,” George Kovacik, Methodist Hospital spokesman, said in a statement.

Mr. Bush was originally hospitalized from Nov. 7 through the 19th and then was re-admitted on the 23rd.