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Former president George H.W. Bush admitted to intensive care; Barbara Bush also hospitalized

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Film Subject President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Mrs. Barbara Bush attend the HBO Documentary special screening of "41" on June 12, 2012. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

HOUSTON, Texas — Former president George H.W. Bush was admitted to intensive care at a Houston hospital after suffering from respiratory problems.

Bush originally went to Houston Methodist Hospital after falling ill, according to his chief of staff, Jean Becker.

In an update sent Wednesday afternoon, Bush’s office said he had an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required him to be sedated.

According to a statement, the former president was resting comfortably and will remain in the intensive care unit for observation.

Bush, who served a single term as President from 1988 to 1992, was not expected to attend the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, in Washington on Friday due to health concerns.

In addition, Bush’s wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital Wednesday morning as a precaution. She had experienced fatigue and bouts of coughing.

Previous health concerns

The elder Bush revealed several years ago he suffered from a form of Parkinson’s disease that left him unable to walk. He used a wheelchair or a scooter to get around.

Bush had two other health scares in 2014 and 2015.

In December 2014 he was hospitalized for what aides described as a precautionary measure after experiencing shortness of breath, and the following July fell at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, breaking the C2 vertebrae in his neck.

The injury did not result in any neurological problems, his spokesman said at the time.

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