Barbara Bush in failing health: statement

Former first lady Barbara Bush 92 is seriously ill and she is no longer seeking medical treatment

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.

Bush, 92, will instead focus on receiving "comfort care", the statement said.

Longtime Republican political consultant Rick Wilson described Bush as "an icon" whose "fierce love for her family transcended politics".

Bush, the wife of one USA president and the mother of another US president, has struggled with health issues due to COPD for several months. Abigail Adams was the wife of the second president, John Adams, and mother of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams. She has been on oxygen for some time.

The office did not elaborate on the nature of Bush's health issues.


She was known for her trademark white hair, a trait that was born of tragedy when her brown hair began to gray 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, according to the Associated Press.

Just this month, the former first lady wrote about her husband in a note for the spring edition of Smith College's alumnae magazine. She met George Herbert Walker Bush at a school dance in Greenwich, Connecticut, when she was 16.

The former President, who also served as vice president from 1981 to 1989, also broke a bone in his neck in 2015 when he fell at the family summer compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. In years past she has been hospitalized for Graves' disease, a thyroid condition, and bronchitis, a respiratory ailment.

Mrs. Bush, 92, has been hospitalized several times in Houston, Texas, over the past year to be treated for chronic pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, her family has said.

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