134255

World  

Barbara Bush health failing

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.

"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 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.

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.

Noted for her shock of white hair, Bush's brown hair began to grey in the 1950s while her three-year-old daughter, Pauline, known to her family as Robin, underwent treatment for leukemia. She died in October 1953.

Bush eschewed dying her hair, which ultimately turned white. She later said that dyed hair didn't look good on her and credited the colour to the public's perception of her as "everybody's grandmother." Her son George said that a "crowning achievement" of his father, who was fond of coming up with nicknames for friends and family, was anointing Barbara, "The Silver Fox."

Bush's triple-strand false pearl necklace 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.

Noted for her temper, Bush kept her sarcasm under wraps in public, though one noted slip came in 1984 when her husband was running for re-election as vice-president with President Ronald Reagan. Their Democratic challengers, Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, questioned whether wealthy people like the Bushes could relate to average Americans. An irritated Barbara Bush told a reporter that Ferraro was a "$4 million — I can't say it — but it rhymes with rich." Bush later said she meant "witch" and apologized; Ferraro accepted the apology.

She was also a champion for literacy and founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy during her White House years.

The foundation has awarded more than $40 million to 1,500 literacy programs nationwide. "Focusing on the family is the best place to start to make this country more literate, and I still feel that being more literate will help us solve so many of the other problems facing our society," she wrote in her 1994 memoir.



More World News

World
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
57111
Recent Trending
59546
Okanagan Oldies
134533
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
133533



134427
132208