Barbara Bush Is in Failing Health, Will No Longer Seek Additional Medical Care

Barbara Bush, Failing Health
Barbara Bush attends a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush February 19, 2016 in Greenville, South Carolina. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Barbara Bush will no longer seek medical treatment following a series of recent hospitalizations, according to a statement released by the office of her husband, former President George H. W. Bush, on Sunday, April 15. 

“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. 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,” the statement to Us Weekly reads. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”

The former first lady — whose husband was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993, while their son, George W. Bush, was the 43rd Commander in Chief — is best known for her charitable and humanitarian efforts, including campaigning to improve literacy in the ’80s.  

The couple, who married in 1945, have been quietly battling health issues in recent years. They were both admitted to the same hospital in January 2017, when the former Navy aviator was experiencing shortness of breath and pneumonia. Barbara was admitted a few days later while suffering from bronchitis. Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton sent the couple their well wishes at the time.

George Sr. was scheduled to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration that month but had to skip the event on doctor’s orders. He wrote in a letter to the former Celebrity Apprentice star, “Barbara and I are so sorry we can’t be there for your inauguration on January 20th. My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara, so I guess we’re stuck in Texas.”

Despite being sick, the couple seemed in better spirits at the Super Bowl in February, where they were greeted with a standing ovation. George Sr., who arrived in a wheelchair, was also given the honor of flipping the coin, which ultimately favored the Atlanta Falcons.

Upon the death of Nancy Reagan in March 2016, Barbara became the oldest living first lady.

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