Nation/World

Spokesman: Barbara Bush in failing health

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Former first lady Barbara Bush listens to a patient's question Aug. 22, 2013, during a visit to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. A family spokesman said Sunday that the former first lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and won't seek additional medical treatment.[]

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

“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.”