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Ex-President George H.W. Bush leaves hospital after fall

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) – Former President George H.W. Bush was released from a Maine hospital on Sunday, four days after the 91-year-old fell at his summer home and broke a bone in his neck.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said that “a very grateful” Bush returned home to Kennebunkport from Maine Medical Center after treatment for a fractured vertebra.

“He is in good enough condition that they can continue his recovery at home,” McGrath told The Associated Press.

Doctors say Bush didn’t suffer nerve damage when he fell Wednesday. They said they anticipate the 41st president will recover fully in three or four months.

Doctors said Bush, the oldest living former president, did not suffer any neurological damage.

McGrath said Bush never lost consciousness. He fractured his C2 vertebra, the second one below the skull, but it didn’t affect his spine.

A day after the fall, Dr. William D’Angelo, a neurosurgeon who is treating Bush, said the former president was in good spirits and his “excellent” physical shape lead doctors to anticipate a full recovery.

The family declined to say how Bush fell.

Bush, who has a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility, has suffered other recent health setbacks. He was hospitalized in Houston in December for about a week for shortness of breath. He spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care at the same Houston hospital for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.

Still, he has taken skydives on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House and celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump in Kennebunkport.

The Republican served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president before being elected president in 1988. He served one term then lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.

Bush was a naval aviator in World War II, and his torpedo plane was shot down over the Pacific. He also served as ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China and CIA director.

He is the father of Republican former President George W.Bush. Another son, Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is running for president in 2016.

During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, live in Houston.