On Sunday, April 15, the Bush family — which has produced two presidents and one presidential hopeful in the last four decades — released some very sad news. E! News reports that following a year of hospitalizations for ongoing health conditions, former first lady Barbara Bush, 92, has decided not to seek further medical treatment for her failing health.
Barbara Bush’s granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, spoke to her Today colleagues on Monday, April 16 from New Jersey, where she’s currently reporting on a story. “We are grateful for her,” Hager said. “She’s the best grandmother that anybody could ever have. Barbara and I talked to her last night. She’s in great spirits and she’s a fighter. She’s an enforcer.”
The post-White House spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush released a statement about the situation on Twitter, and well wishes are pouring in.
Statement by the Office of George H. W. Bush on the health of former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/4csUS6IRKZ
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 15, 2018
Keeping Barbara Bush and her family in my heart and prayers. I will never forget how kind she was to me on every occasion we met, and how fondly the White House staff always spoke of her.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 15, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Barbara Bush and the Bush Family. God bless you, Mrs. Bush, and may he hold you in the palm of his hand.
— Condoleezza Rice (@CondoleezzaRice) April 16, 2018
According to Us Weekly, Barbara Bush was admitted to the hospital in January 2018 for bronchitis, and George Bush Sr. was admitted in the same month for shortness of breath. The couple has been married since 1945, and Hager remarked upon the strength of their relationship. “[She’s with] the man she’s loved for over 73 years and they are surrounded by family,” she told her Today colleagues, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. “But I think the fact that they are together in this and he still says, ‘I love you, Barbie,’ every night is pretty remarkable.”
CNN reports that Barbara Bush has been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure for at least the last year. She is being cared for at her home in Houston and has been on oxygen for “some time.” According to the report the official statement, she has decided to 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 says. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”