Former US First Lady Barbara Bush in Failing Health

Failing health for former First Lady Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush in failing health, to 'focus on comfort,' family spokesman says

Barbara Bush, wife of former President H.W. Bush, will not seek additional medical treatment and instead will focus on "comfort care", a Bush family spokesman said Sunday.

Bush is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president.

The office of former President George H.W. Bush released a statement, confirming after a "recent series of hospitalizations", she has decided against seeking additional medical help. "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 numerous other problems facing our society", she wrote in her 1994 memoir.

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CNN has reported that she has been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD) and also congestive heart failure.

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years, with a goal to improve the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. She was also the 33rd Second Lady of the United States during her husband's term as vice president.

In the statement, it was not written how critical her condition is at present. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. "I'm not sure God will recognize me; I have so many new body parts!"

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File image of George and Barbara Bush. "He is the best - thoughtful and loving".

All along, Barbara Bush has been regarded as an invaluable asset with a grandmotherly persona that could belie a forthright outspokenness. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business. After he returned on leave, she dropped out of Smith College, and the two married in January 1945.

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