Spokesman: Former President Bush's breathing returns to normal, but remains in hospital

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A spokesman for George H.W. Bush says the former president's breathing has "returned to normal" but he will remain in a hospital for at least another night pending approval from doctors for him to return to his Houston home.

Tuesday will mark one week since the 90-year-old Bush, the nation's oldest living former president, was taken by ambulance to Houston's Methodist Hospital to address shortness of breath. Family spokesman Jim McGrath has described the hospitalization as a precaution.

In a statement Monday, he said the 41 U.S. president and former first lady Barbara Bush wanted to "thank everyone for their good wishes and prayers."

Gigi Huang,the former owner of the now-closed Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar says Bush has been enjoying Houston life. Bush was a regular and made it a Christmas Day tradition to eat there.

"My most cherished memory is when I saw them at the restaurant just the two of them having dinner and the way Mrs. Bush would look into president bush's eyes the two of them it was so romantic as if they were on a date night," Huang said.

Bush hasn't given speeches or interviews in years, but friends say he's still the strong, thoughtful man they know.

"I have every belief that he'll be coming out of there at the appropriate time, be the George Bush we all know, which is the active -- very active -- George HW Bush," said Peter Roussel, former George HW Bush press secretary.

Two years ago, Bush spent nearly two months at the same hospital for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough and other issues. He also has a form of Parkinson's disease.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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