KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — George H.W. Bush, the oldest living former U.S. president, fell at his summer home on Wednesday and broke a bone in his neck but was doing OK, a spokesman said. Bush, 91, was hospitalized in stable condition and was doing “fine” after Wednesday’s fall, spokesman Jim McGrath said. McGrath tweeted that the 41st president would be in a neck brace.
Bush was being treated at Portland’s Maine Medical Center, where a children’s hospital is named for his wife. Bush, who has a form of Parkinson’s disease that has forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility, has suffered a few other recent health setbacks. He 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 care there.
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, a Republican, served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president before being elected 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.
Bush, the father of Republican former President George W. Bush, was a naval aviator in World War II and was shot down over the Pacific. He also was a former U.S. ambassador to China and a CIA director. 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.
He celebrated a low-key 91st birthday with his family at the home on the Maine coast. During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, live in Houston. Another Bush son, Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is running for president in 2016, AP reports. .