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

Former first lady Barbara Bush 92 is seriously ill and she is no longer seeking medical treatment

A second message read: "I am sending all my love and prayers to the entire Bush family today - Barbara Bush is a woman of great strength, patriotism and an iconic first lady of our times who has touched and inspired countless lives". She is the mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. She is surrounded by family at her home in Houston, Texas.

The short statement on Sunday did not indicate the nature of Bush's illness but said that she had had a series of recent hospitalisations.

Bush, 92, will "instead focus on comfort care" for unspecified health complications, according to a statement.

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At 92 years old, Barbara 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 COPD and congestive heart failure.

The Bushes have been married for 73 years.

People are generally aware that Bush Sr. suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has him in a wheelchair; however, most were not aware of the former first lady's health problems, which started about two years ago. He is 93 years old and also has been in failing health in recent years. In Houston in December 2014, he was treated for shortness of breath and spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.

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Barbara Bush served as the country's first lady from 1989 to 1993. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines.

All along, Barbara Bush has been regarded as an invaluable asset with a grandmotherly persona that could belie a forthright outspokenness. The foundation partners with local programs and had awarded more than $40 million to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.

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