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George H.W. Bush in 'Great Spirits,' Remains Hospitalized

FILE - Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush arrives to hear a speech by his son, former President George W. Bush, at the George Bush Presidential Library Center in College Station, Texas, Nov. 11, 2014.

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush remained hospitalized Thursday near his home in Houston after experiencing shortness of breath this week, and he was in "great spirits," his spokesman said.

Bush, 90, was taken by ambulance to Houston Methodist Hospital on Tuesday. Spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday that the 41st president's prognosis was positive and that he remained hospitalized as a precaution.

"President Bush had another terrific day and is in great spirits,'' McGrath said Thursday in an emailed statement.

Bush's wife, Barbara, as well as son Neil and daughter-in-law Maria Bush visited the former president, McGrath said.

"He asked that his sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas be extended to one and all," McGrath said, adding that Bush would remain at the hospital Thursday evening.

The latest health scare came two years after Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993, was admitted to the same hospital for treatment of bronchitis and related ailments. Bush spent seven weeks recuperating and became so ill he was believed at one point to be near death.

The former Republican president suffers from Parkinson's disease and cannot use his legs. But he celebrated his 90th birthday on June 12 by skydiving in Kennebunkport, Maine, with the Army's Golden Knight parachute team.