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Former President George HW Bush Injured in Fall


FILE - Former President George H.W. Bush talks with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair before a National Football League game between the Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston, Nov. 23, 2014.

Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, father to former president George W. Bush and current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, has been hospitalized after a fall that broke a bone in his neck.

The 41st president remained hospitalized in fair condition Thursday in Portland, Maine, not far from the Bush family's summer home in Kennebunkport on the northeastern coast of the United States.

The doctor treating the 91-year-old Bush told a news conference that patients of his age typically take three to four months to heal from such an injury.

Dr. William D'Angelo said the fracture to Bush's C2 vertebrae — the second one below the skull — didn't impinge on his spine or cause neurological problems, and that it is expected to heal on its own.

The former president will be fitted for a neck brace, continue physical therapy and undergo further evaluation, but is not expected to be hospitalized for long.

In December, Bush was hospitalized in Houston for about a week for treatment of shortness of breath.

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.

Staying active

Bush has stayed active since his time in office. In addition to supporting his sons' political careers, he celebrated his 80th and 85th birthdays by skydiving and his 90th with a tandem parachute jump. But his advancing age and the onset of Parkinson's disease have demanded that he use a scooter or wheelchair in recent public appearances.

Before his term as president, Bush served two terms as vice president to Ronald Reagan. He lost his 1993 bid for re-election to Democrat Bill Clinton, who in turn served two terms before being succeeded by Bush's son, George W. Bush.

His term in office was defined by his aggressive response to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the success of the 1991 Gulf War.

Bush, at 91, the oldest living former U.S. president, 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 a home in Kennebunkport. During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, live in Houston.

Some material for this report came from AP and Reuters.