Former President George H.W. Bush Recuperates From Fall

A Maine hospital says 91-year-old George H.W. Bush is in fair condition after he fell and broke a vertebrae in his neck.


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The 41st president fell Wednesday morning at his summer home in Kennebunkport. 
“The injury in the neck did not impinge on the spine,” said Jim McGrath, the family spokesperson. “The president continues to have normal use of his limbs, so it sounds scary but as these things go, it was actually kind of a best-case scenario.” 

McGrath says the nation’s oldest living president has been seeing family and other visitors, but the neck brace is not very comfortable.

“I’ve never spent the night with one of those on, but I understand they take some getting used to,” McGrath said. “The president’s as tough as they come.”  

Falls are the leading causes of death for those 65 and older. 

“Fortunately for him, he’s got a lot of support around him all the time, but living alone is an independent risk factor of almost everything that can possibly happen. So our bones are a little more brittle as we age — in some cases, a lot more brittle,” said Dr. Robert Roush, with the Baylor College of Medicine.   

Dr. Roush says the brace will stabilize the range of motion in the neck.

“Obviously his doctors would be in a better position to comment, but in general just stabilizing that, and just letting the normal healing process occur. What’s remarkable about older people is that we do continue to heal.”


Statement released Thursday by the Office of George H. W. Bush:

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.


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