Barbara Bush, Former First Lady of U.S., in Failing Health: Family Spokesperson

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Bush's office released a statement, confirming after a "recent series of hospitalizations", she has decided against seeking additional medical help and will instead focus on "comfort care". Bush read a children's book and introduced the patients to her dog during the visit.

She has always been considered the rock at the center of one of America's most prominent political families, as the wife of a president, the mother of another, George W. Bush, and the mother also of a former Florida governor and onetime presidential aspirant, Jeb Bush.

Mr McGrath says Mrs Bush is surrounded by "a family she adores" and appreciates the many kind messages and prayers she has been receiving.

'Punk' turtle that breathes through its genitals added to endangered list
Cloacal ventilation allows the species to live underwater for days a time, as long as the water is flowing and well oxygenated. The Edge programme uses a complex formula to award a threat score to unusual species at risk of extinction.

Her son George W. Bush, now 71 and the nation's 43rd president, served from 2001-09 and retired to Texas. She was also the 33rd Second Lady of the United States during her husband's term as vice president.

Barbara Bush, often known for her outspoken remarks and self-deprecating wit, was the US first lady from 1989 to 1993 when her husband was the country's 41st president. Bush would travel the world representing the US before turning their sights to The White House, first as the Vice President and Second Lady during the Ronald Reagan administration, then the 1988 Presidential election. She was also diagnosed with Graves' disease in the 1980s. Barbara Bush eschewed dying her hair, which ultimately turned white. They got engaged right before he left to fight in World War II as a Navy pilot.

Smith College awarded Barbara Bush with an honorary degree in 1989.

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