On Sunday, April 15, a spokesperson for the hospital treating former first lady Barbara Bush announced that the 92-year-old has decided to not seek additional medical treatment.
According to Inside Edition, Barbara has been battling congestive heart failure, Graves disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for the last few years.Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram
The statement read in full:
After a series of hospitalizations, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.
However, while Barbara’s medical team and her family are turning their attention toward making sure she is as comfortable as possible, NBC News reports that that doesn’t necessarily mean she is ending all medical treatment, and it also does not mean she is giving up.
As Dr. Rodney Tucker, the director of UAB’s Center for Palliative and Supportive Care, told NBC News:
“I think that using the term ‘comfort care’ is a bit of a misnomer. Essentially when patients elect comfort care, they’re electing aggressive measures in terms of symptom control. It may be treatment for pain, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and so on. It also includes the location of care, so where the patient prefers, such as at home. But by all means comfort care is medical care.”
Barbara’s granddaughter and Today Show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager responded to the news of her grandmother the following day.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 16, 2018
She told her colleagues with tears in her eyes that her grandma is fighter and always has been:
“We are grateful for her. She’s the best grandma anybody could have ever had, or have. She’s in great spirits and she’s a fighter, she’s an enforcer. We’re grateful for her, for everybody’s prayers and thoughts, and just know the world is better because she’s in it.”
Jenna continued by saying that husband George H.W. Bush has been by his wife’s side every step of the way.Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram
“She’s with my grandpa and the man she’s loved for over 73 years. He still says, ‘I love you, Barbie’ every night. It’s pretty remarkable.”
Barbara and George married on January 6, 1945. They have six children together.
Since the announcement about Barbara’s health was made, thousands have offered their well wishes on social media.