Spokesman: Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing healthApril 16, 2018 3:25am

HOUSTON (AP) — Former first lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and won't seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said Sunday.

"Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a news release.

McGrath did not elaborate as to the nature of Bush's health problems. She has been treated for decades for Graves' disease, which is a thyroid condition, had heart surgery in 2009 for a severe narrowing of her main heart valve and was hospitalized a year before that for surgery on a perforated ulcer.

"It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others," McGrath said. "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving."

Bush, who is at home in Houston, is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the nation's second president, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.

Bush married George H.W. Bush on Jan. 6, 1945. They had six children and have been married longer than any presidential couple in American history.

Eight years after she and her husband left the White House, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as the 43rd president.

President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement Sunday evening that "the President's and first lady's prayers are with all of the Bush family during this time."

Bush is known for her white hair and her triple-strand fake pearl necklace.

Her brown hair began to gray in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old daughter Pauline, known to her family as Robin, underwent treatment for leukemia and eventually died in October 1953. She later said dyed hair didn't look good on her and credited the color to the public's perception of her as "everybody's grandmother."

Her pearls sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband's inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common sense and down-to-earth public image.

Her 93-year-old husband, the nation's 41st president who served from 1989 to 1993, also has had health issues in recent years. In April 2017, he was hospitalized in Houston for two weeks for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. He was hospitalized months earlier, also for pneumonia. He has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.

Before being president, he served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.

Barbara Pierce Bush was born June 8, 1925, in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. She and George H.W. Bush married when she was 19 and while he was a young naval aviator. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business.

Along with her memoirs, she's the author of "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book," based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and had awarded more than $40 million as of 2014 to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.

___

This story has been corrected to show George H.W. Bush is 93, not 94.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE - In this April 10, 1985, file photo, U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush reacts after he throws the ceremonial first pitch during the New York Mets season opener with the St. Louis Cardinals at New York's Shea Stadium in N.Y. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston with an infection, just after attending the funeral of his wife, Barbara, a spokesman said Monday, April 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)
Former President Bush out of intensive care, making progress
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses an audience Wednesday, April 25, 2018, on the campus of Brown University, in Providence, R.I. Bush, a former presidential candidate, opened with remarks about his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at age 92 at her home, in Houston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Jeb Bush calls father 'stronger than an ox,' talks politics
This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Erick Davila. Attorneys for the Texas death row inmate want the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his scheduled execution this week for the shooting deaths of a 5-year-old girl and her grandmother during a birthday party 10 years ago outside a Fort Worth apartment. The former Fort Worth street gang member is set for lethal injection Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)
The Latest: Texas executes man for killing 2 at party
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Devin Patrick Kelley. The gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church last year told a military judge in 2012 that he "would never allow myself to hurt someone" again while confessing to violently hitting his stepson. The Pentagon on Thursday, April 26, 2018, released hundreds of court documents about former Air Force member Devin Patrick Kelley, who killed more than two dozen people during a rampage in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Texas Department of Public Safety via AP, File)
5 years before massacre, gunman promised not to hurt anyone
20 states seek to block Obama's health care lawTwenty Republican-led states are seeking to temporarily invalidate former President Barack Obama's health care law while their larger lawsuit against it proceeds
Judge seeks update on raids of Trump's personal lawyerA judge wants more information from prosecutors and lawyers for President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to help speedily analyze materials seized from Cohen
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices