Barbara Bush makes an end of life decision, stops medical treatment

Barbara Bush makes an end of life decision, stops medical treatment

A statement was made Sunday about former First Lady Barbara Bush’s health and it’s not good. The family spokesman, Jim McGrath,  announced that Mrs. Bush has decided to stop medical treatment. She is 92 years old.

“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. 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,” the statement read.

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

She will be made as comfortable as possible and the last I heard on a local Houston station was that former President George H.W. Bush is by her side, holding her hand. It’s just as any of us would imagine, given how devoted the two are to each other. They have been married longer than any other presidential couple in American history, now in their 73rd year. She is the only living wife of a former president and mother to a former president. Abigail Adams was the only other American woman with that distinction.

Former President Bush, at age 93, has his own health issues. Barbara Bush’s were less well-known. She has suffered for years from Graves Disease and most recently from  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure.

At 92 years old, Bush has been suffering for some time and has been in and out of the hospital multiple times in the last year while battling with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, and congestive heart failure.

Most recently, she was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Good Friday suffering from shortness of breath. She was doing better and had been released earlier this past week, but started to get worse in the past couple of days.

This is a woman who has led an extraordinary life of service to her family and to her country.  In her adopted home of Houston, she is known for her love of the city and her generous, gracious service to those living here. Her passion for literacy was the basis for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Along with her memoirs, she’s the author of “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book,” based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and has awarded more than $40 million to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.

Julie Finck, president of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, said the former first lady’s passion for literacy awareness has touched many lives.

What a well-lived life it has been for Barbara Bush. She has a loyal family and a world full of friends and acquaintances. Her last major decision will be hardest on her family, as they now carry out her final wishes.