Bar­bara Bush is ‘a fighter,’ in good spir­its

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

HOUS­TON — For­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush, who was re­ported in “fail­ing health” over the week­end, is in “great spir­its” and the fam­ily is grate­ful for “ev­ery­body’s prayers and thoughts,” her grand­daugh­ter said Mon­day.

Bush fam­ily spokesper­son Jim McGrath said Sun­day that “Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has de­cided not to seek ad­di­tional med­i­cal treat­ment and will in­stead fo­cus on com­fort care” at home in Hous­ton fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tions with her doc­tors and fam­ily.

McGrath did not elab­o­rate on the na­ture of Bush’s health prob­lems but on Mon­day said she’s suf­fered in re­cent years from con­ges­tive heart fail­ure and chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. She also has been treated for decades for Graves’ dis­ease, which is a thy­roid con­di­tion, had heart surgery in 2009 for a se­vere nar­row­ing of her main heart valve and was hos­pi­tal­ized a year be­fore that for surgery on a per­fo­rated ul­cer.

Jenna Bush Hager, an an­chor on NBC’s “To­day” show, told the pro­gram Mon­day morn­ing that Bush is rest­ing com­fort­ably with fam­ily.

“She’s a fighter. She’s an en­forcer,” Hager said, us­ing the fam­ily’s nick­name for her grand­mother. “We’re grate­ful for her, for ev­ery­body’s prayers and thoughts, and just know the world is bet­ter be­cause she is in it.

“We are grate­ful for her. She’s the best grandma any­body could have ever had ... or have,” she said.

Bush is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a pres­i­dent. The other was Abi­gail Adams, wife of John Adams, the na­tion’s sec­ond pres­i­dent, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth pres­i­dent.

Bush mar­ried Ge­orge H.W. Bush on Jan. 6, 1945. They had six chil­dren and have been mar­ried longer than any pres­i­den­tial cou­ple in Amer­i­can 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 the 43rd pres­i­dent. Hager said the for­mer pres­i­dent “still says, ‘I love you Bar­bie’ ev­ery night,” de­scrib­ing their grand­par­ents’ close re­la­tion­ship as “re­mark­able.”

McGrath said Bush was con­cerned more for her fam­ily than her­self.

“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,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s press sec­re­tary, Sarah Huck­abee San­ders, said in a state­ment “the Pres­i­dent’s and first lady’s prayers are with all of the Bush fam­ily dur­ing this time.”

GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO

For­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush won’t seek more med­i­cal treat­ment af­ter hos­pi­tal­iza­tions, but will in­stead fo­cus on “com­fort care.”

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