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Barbara Bush in ‘Failing Health’ and Opts to Focus on Comfort

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A Bush family spokesman has stated that former First Lady Barbara Bush won’t be seeking additional medical treatment for her “failing health” following a series of hospitalizations. At age 92, Mrs. Bush consulted with her family and doctors and has chosen to instead focus on comfort care, according to spokesman Jim McGrath.

In a Sunday news release, it was revealed that Mrs. Bush has been “…a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself – thanks to her abiding faith – but for others.” Although McGrath didn’t expand on the conditions she is presently facing, it is public knowledge that she has been treated for Graves’ disease for decades (a thyroid condition), was hospitalized in 2008 for a perforated ulcer, and had heart surgery in 2009. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving,” McGrath explained.

Barbara Bush in ‘Failing Health’ and Opts to Focus on Comfort

Photo: Facebook/Vintage History

Mrs. Bush, who is now at home in Houston, Texas, is one of only two first ladies who were also mothers of a U.S. president. Abigail Adams, wife to John Adams and mother to John Quincy Adams, was the other. She married George H.W. Bush on Jan. 6, 1945 and had six children. They hold the record for being married longer than any other U.S. presidential couple in history. She is well-known for her white hair, which began to gray in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old daughter, Pauline (known to the family as Robin), was undergoing leukemia treatment. Pauline passed away from her illness in 1953, and Mrs. Bush later noted that she didn’t feel dying her hair looked good and maintained the natural white owing to the public’s perception of her as a grandmotherly type.

Barbara Bush 2

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

She sparked a national fashion trend when she wore a triple strand of fake pearls to her husband’s 1989 inauguration. Becoming synonymous with Bush, she later candidly noted that she selected the pearls to hide neck wrinkles – an admission that only endeared her more to the American public, as being down-to-earth. Born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York, in June of 1925, her dad was the publisher of Redbook and McCall’s Magazine. She married George H.W. Bush at the age of 19, while he was a naval aviator. Following World War II, they moved to Texas where Mr. Bush went into the oil business. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her time as First Lady in the White House with a goal of boosting literacy among parents and their children, thereby improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans. Partnering with local programs, the foundation has given more than $40 million to such initiatives (as of 2014), helping to create and expand 1,500 literacy programs across the country.