Spokesman: George H.W. Bush breaks bone in neck during fall, will be OK

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Thursday, July 16, 2015
George H.W. Bush breaks bone in neck during fall
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George H.W. Bush was admitted into a Maine hospital out of an abundance of caution, according to his spokesperson. He's expected to be OK

PORTLAND, ME (KTRK) -- George H.W. Bush broke a vertebrae in his neck during a fall Wednesday, according to his spokesman Jim McGrath.

The incident happened at Bush's home in Maine.

Bush's office today released the following statement about the former president's condition:

    "President Bush 41 remains hospitalized in fair condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland following a fall yesterday at his home in Kennebunkport in which he fractured his C2 vertebrae. The president never lost consciousness, and the injury he sustained neither impinged on his spine nor resulted in any neurological deficits. He continues to have normal use of his limbs. The plan is to let this injury heal on its own without surgery. President Bush will remain at Maine Medical Center to be fitted for a brace to immobilize the injured area, to continue physical therapy, and for further evaluation. We do not discuss timelines for discharge, but do not believe this will be a prolonged recovery period at MMC."

McGrath says the 41st president was admitted to Portland Hospital out of an abundance of caution.

According to Jim McGrath's Twitter feed, Barbara Pierce Bush declared: "A slip and fall is not going to take out a World War II pilot."

Bush, 91, is the oldest living former U.S. president, was hospitalized in Houston in December for about a week for treatment of shortness of breath. He said he was "grateful to the doctors and nurses for their superb care" after his treatment there.

Bush served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president before being elected the nation's 41st president in 1988. After one term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voters' concerns about the economy.

He spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care at the same Houston hospital while being treated for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues. He was discharged in January 2013 after a nearly two-month stay.

Bush, the father of former President George W. Bush, was a naval aviator in World War II and was shot down over the Pacific.

He has skydived on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House. He celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Kennebunkport. During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, live in Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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