Former US First Lady Barbara Bush in 'failing health'

Frederick Owens
April 16, 2018

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health and after a series of hospitalizations, she has decided not to seek further medical treatment, a family spokesman said Sunday.

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health, a source close to the Bush family tells CNN. Sunday it was announced she is in failing health.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted that Bush "is a comfort to her friends & family teaching us all how to live full of faith, love & humor". "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving", the statement read.

Barbara Bush has been married to George H.W. Bush for 73 years.

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Throughout a long life in the public eye, Bush was a fierce advocate for her husband and sons, including former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush. She was also diagnosed with Graves' disease in the 1980s. Bush would travel the world representing the USA before turning their sights to The White House, first as the Vice President and Second Lady during the Ronald Reagan administration, then the 1988 Presidential election. Barbara Bush eschewed dying her hair, which ultimately turned white.

Husband George, the nation's 41st president, is now 93 years old and struggling with a Parkinson's-like disease that forces him to use a wheelchair and makes it hard for him to speak. She is 92 years old.

Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. They married in 1945 while he was on leave from wartime service as a naval officer.

The couple met at a Christmas dance in 1941, when Barbara Pierce was 16 and George Bush was 17. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas, where he went into the oil business.

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