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Ex-first lady Barbara Bush leaves Houston hospital

Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 11:39 p.m. CDT

HOUSTON – Former first lady Barbara Bush praised the staff of a Texas hospital where she spent nearly a week being treated for pneumonia before going home Saturday.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for President George H.W. Bush and his wife, says doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital decided Saturday morning to allow Barbara Bush to go home. The 88-year-old Bush family matriarch had been hospitalized since Monday.

"I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible," Bush said. The Bushes are well-known dog lovers and live in Houston.

McGrath had no immediate information on future treatment for Bush.

"She's great. She's had a couple of great days. She's responded well to the medication," McGrath said.

The nation's longest-married presidential first couple will celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary Monday.

Barbara Bush had heart surgery in March 2009 for a severe narrowing of the main heart valve. She also was hospitalized in November 2008, when she underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer. In 2010, she was admitted to the hospital after having a mild relapse of Graves disease, a thyroid condition for which she was treated in 1989.

Her 89-year-old husband spent nearly two months in the same hospital and was discharged in January 2013 after treatment for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues.

Their son, George W. Bush, served as the 43rd U.S. president.

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