Barbara Bush, in ‘failing health’

WASHINGTON – Barbara Bush, the wife of former US President George H.W. Bush, is in “failing health” and has decided to no longer seek medical treatment, the office of the former president said in a statement from Houston on Sunday.

The former first lady, who is also the mother of former President George W. Bush, “will instead focus on comfort care,” the statement said. She is 92 years old.

The brief statement did not indicate the nature of Mrs Bush’s illness but said she had a series of recent hospitalisations. CNN reported that Mrs Bush was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure. A Bush family spokesperson said she was being cared for at her home. He did not provide information on the nature of her illness.

“She is surrounded by a family she adores and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving,” the statement added.

As first lady from 1989 until the start of 1993, Mrs Bush was a popular national figure known for her sometimes blunt talk and self-deprecating wit.

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