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Former President Bush recovering in Maine hospital after suffering neck injury

Former President Bush recovering in Maine hospital after neck injury

News, Shelby, Barbara Bush 90th birthday, June 2015
Former President George HW Bush, center, posed with his family during a birthday celebration for his wife Barbara last month. Photo courtesy of the office of President George H.W. Bush

UPDATE July 19: Former president George HW Bush was released from the Maine Medical Center after four days of treatment for a fractured vertebrae. He is recuperating at his Kennebunkport home. He is in a hard neck brace, but the "halo" variety, press spokesman Jim McGrath said by email.

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George H.W. Bush is recovering at a Maine hospital Thursday after injuring his neck during a fall at his home in Kennebunkport. The 91-year-old former president is in fair condition after fracturing his C2 vertebrae Wednesday, Bush's press spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

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."

Bush's attending physician, Dr. William D’Angelo, will outline President Bush’s injury and recovery later today and CultureMap will update this story at that time. UPDATE: D'Angelo told reporters that Bush "is a tough guy. I am impressed." According to a CNN report, D'Angelo said it usually takes a patient of Bush's age 3-4 months to heal from this type of injury. The former president is in a neck brace now and be in an extended brace when he is up and around.

President Obama phoned Bush to wish him a "speedy recovery" and extend his best wishes on behalf of him and the first lady, according to Eric Schultz, White House deputy press secretary.

Bush, who has Parkinson's disease and cannot walk on his own, neverthless leads an active life, having celebrated his 90th birthday last year with a sky dive. He was hospitalized for seven weeks at Houston's Methodist Hospital in late 2012 and early 2013 with bronchitis and was admitted to the same hospital late last year for a brief period after complaining of shortness of breath.