FILE - In a Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush listens to a patient’s question during a visit to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health

A family spokesman said Sunday that the former first lady Barbara Bush is in “failing health” and won’t seek additional medical treatment.

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in “failing health” and won’t seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said.

“Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” spokesman Jim McGrath said Sunday in a news release.

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, 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.

“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, 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.

Related: A rather small weapon of mass destruction

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

Bush is known for her white hair and her triple-strand fake pearl necklace.

Her brown hair began to grey in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old 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 pearls sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband’s inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common sense and down-to-earth public image.

Her 93-year-old husband, the nation’s 41st president who served from 1989 to 1993, also has had health issues in recent years. In April 2017, he was hospitalized in Houston for two weeks for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. He was hospitalized months earlier, also for pneumonia. He has a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.

Before being president, he served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice-president.

Barbara Pierce Bush was born June 8, 1925, in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. She and George H.W. Bush married when she was 19 and while he was a young naval aviator. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business.

Along with her memoirs, she’s the author of “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book,” based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and had awarded more than $40 million as of 2014 to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.

Related: McMaster out, Bolton in as Trump’s national security adviser

Related: AP FACT CHECK: Trump piles up the questionable assertions

Michael Graczyk, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

In Pictures: Māori girls net a big win on Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii and New Zealand are just a few b-ball games away.… Continue reading

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Man charged following Q.C. house fire that set off explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall may face up to 14 years for causing bodily harm by breaching duty of care

Wind warning issued for Haida Gwaii today and overnight

Another wind warning has been issued for Haida Gwaii for today and… Continue reading

Haida leaders join coastal First Nations push for tanker ban

Elected and hereditary Haida leaders met some Ottawa senators last week, and… Continue reading

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Most Read