For­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush in fail­ing health

The Niagara Falls Review - - Canada & World - MICHAEL GRACZYK

HOUSTON — For­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush is in “fail­ing health” and won’t seek ad­di­tional med­i­cal treat­ment, a Bush fam­ily spokesper­son 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 med­i­cal treat­ment and will in­stead fo­cus on com­fort care,” Jim McGrath said.

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.

“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 and mother of John Quincy Adams.

She mar­ried Ge­orge H.W. Bush in 1945. They had six chil­dren and have been mar­ried longer than any pres­i­den­tial cou­ple in U.S. 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 pres­i­dent.

She’s known for her white hair and her triple-strand fake pearl neck­lace.

Her brown hair be­gan to grey in the 1950s, while her three-yearold 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 colour to the pub­lic’s per­cep­tion of her as “ev­ery­body’s grand­mother.”

Her 93-year-old hus­band has also had health is­sues in re­cent years.

SCOTT OL­SON GETTY IM­AGES

Bush is the wife of ex-pres­i­dent Ge­orge Bush and mother of for­mer pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

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