Former First lady Barbara Bush to discontinue medical treatment and spend time with family in their "comfort care"

Former First lady Barbara Bush to discontinue medical treatment and spend time with family in their "comfort care"

The 92-year-old former first lady made her decision after a series of recent hospital visits, a statement from the office of husband George HW Bush said.

The ailing former First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush, has said no to further medical treatment and will instead spend the rest of her life with her family in their "comfort care," family spokesman Jim McGrath said Sunday.

A statement from the office of her husband, former US President George HW Bush, said that the 92-year-old had made her decision after being worn-out from a series of hospital visits of late, reported Fox News.

"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. 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 read.

"She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving," it continued.

She had played a pivotal role championing the cause of adult literacy among many others while she served the country as the first lady.

On the other hand, her husband, 93-year-old George HW Bush, is the longest-lived United States President. 

Bush has also suffered numerous health issues along with his wife, spending a significant amount of time in intensive care for pneumonia last year. Bush served as America's 41st president from 1989-93.

The former leader was released from a hospital back in April 2017 after being treated for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. A couple of months prior to that, he was admitted to Houston's Methodist Hospital for 16 days, also for pneumonia.

Back in 2015, the nation's 41st president was hospitalized after falling at his house in Maine and breaking a bone in his neck. In 2012, he spent Christmas in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and some other issues. Again, in December 2014, he was hospitalized in Houston for a week for shortness of breath.

The released statement did not reveal the nature of lady Bush's health issues but, for decades, she has been treated for Graves' disease, a thyroid condition. Her husband George suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility. He has served as a CIA director, a congressman, and the vice president to President Ronald Reagan.

The Boston Globe reported that the former first lady said she's "still old and still in love with the man" she married in 1945, in an excerpt from a 1972 alumnae magazine of Smith's College, a women’s school in Northampton.

“I have had great medical care and more operations than you would believe. I’m not sure God will recognize me; I have so many new body parts! Also, George Bush has given me the world. He is the best — thoughtful and loving,” she said.

"The family of 5 children find living at the Waldorf rather formal after their life in Texas but they enjoy taking other embassy children to the ball games, have 'Americanized' the apt. by hanging only US artists, serving local wines and buying only American-made clothing," the 1972 note says.

Barbara's note says she is "very active" with her foundation's work. Her husband also keeps busy with his foundation, Points of Light, she writes.

She further adds, "All of our children are working and serving others in their own way, along with my 17 grandchildren. I am very proud of them."

On Sunday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted that Barbara Bush is "a woman of great faith, great strength, and an unwavering love of country." 

Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former U.S. senator and a current permanent US representative to NATO, called Bush as "one of America's most-loved women."

Meghan McCain, co-host for 'The View', described the former first lady as "a woman of great strength, patriotism and an iconic first lady of our times who has touched and inspired countless lives."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, "The President's and First Lady's prayers are with all of the Bush Family during this time."

Barbara, who was born in Rye, New York, married George H.W. Bush in 1945 when she was 19 years old and he was a young naval aviator at 20. The Bushes moved to Texas after the World War II where George ventured into the oil business. The former first couple has five children, including former President George W. Bush. A sixth child died as a toddler. 

"My precious George has been in the hospital and out, thank God. We have the best five children in the world — all giving and caring individuals," she wrote in the college magazine. "Being almost 90 is tough, as many of you know, but with a loving, close family, almost anything can be survived."

Barbara Pierce Bush is the author of "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book" along with her memoirs. The books are based on the lives of her dogs. The profits from the books directly went to adult and family literacy programs. She set up The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy while she was in the White House with the sole purpose of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans.

The foundation boosted literacy among both parents and children while partnering with local programs. It has granted over $40 million to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs across the nation.

The couple, who have been married for a stunning 73 years, saw their son George W Bush serve two terms as the nation's 43rd president. Barbara is one of only two women to have seen both their husband and son sworn in as commander-in-chief of the United States. The other one was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

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