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Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At 92

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States, passed away at the age of 92, according to CNN.

Barbara had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as congestive heart failure for a few years now.

She was hospitalized numerous times, and underwent different types of procedures in the past year alone.

Former first lady Barbara Bush
Bloomberg

The former first lady was most recently admitted to a hospital on Good Friday, after she complained about having shortness of breath.

She was discharged earlier last week, but unfortunately, her condition worsened.

Barbara Bush
NPR

After a long fight to get her health back in check, a source close to the family told CNN that Barbara made the decision to end all treatment. Instead she opted for "comfort care" at her home in Houston, Texas.

“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,” read the statement.
The Bush family
Democracyjournal.org

Her family, including her husband, daughter Doro, sons Marvin, Neil, George W. Bush, and former governor Jeb Bush, have all been by her side during the entire ordeal. .

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

The former FLOTUS was also previously diagnosed with Graves' disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid. It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, which is described by the American Thyroid Association as "a generalized over-activity of the entire thyroid gland."

Her granddaughter, anchor Jenna Bush Hager, recently opened up about Barbara's health on the Today show.

“She’s a fighter. She's an enforcer,” said Jenna. “We’re grateful for her, for everybody’s prayers and thoughts, and just know the world is better because she’s in it.”

Jenna and Barbara Bush
Magaz News

Up until her death, Barbara, who just celebrated her 73rd wedding anniversary in January, was the only living first lady who was also the mother of a former president.

While her husband garnered most of the attention during his presidency, from 1989 to 1993, Barbara is iconic in her own right.

Barbara met George in 1941 at a dance at the Round Hill Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The couple got married in 1945, after Bush Sr. returned home from serving as a naval pilot in World War II. They have been inseparable ever since.

George and Barbara Bush Wedding Day
History

While her husband was slowly becoming a recognizable face in U.S. politics, Barbara was writing a column called “Washington Scene” for newspapers in Houston in the late 60s.

Although she was not as involved in politics as George was, Barbara still made her position on certain causes clear, and publicly supported things like the Equal Right Amendment.

Barbara Bush
The Texas Tribune

Barbara's legacy as a philanthropist is something that she is also well remembered for.

Upon becoming FLOTUS, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a nonprofit  organization "with a goal to empower families through literacy."

“The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don’t give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren’t giving everyone an equal chance to succeed," said Barbara.

She and her husband were once involved in a number of causes, and have charitable donations totaling a billion dollars since leaving the White House, according to CNN.

Barbara Bush reading to children
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

The New York native was also very active in children's health causes.

Thanks to her work towards improving pediatric health care, in 1995, the new children's hospital at the Maine Medical Center was named after her.

Barbara Bush at the Maine Medical Center
WMTW8

The following year, she started the Maine Family Literacy Initiative, which provides grants to promote and address literacy.

She also penned two children's books, and a memoir since leaving the White House.

During the last few years, Barbara had to scale back her philanthropic engagements due to her steadily deteriorating health. However, her efforts are now being continued by her children and grandchildren.

The former president has also been struggling with his health over the last few years.

George has recently made headlines multiple times due to problems with his health.

The 41st president suffers from vascular Parkinsonism, a rare condition that mimics symptoms of Parkinson's disease. His illness, along with a broken vertebrae, has confined him to a wheelchair for the last few years.

In 2017, he was rushed to the hospital twice, in January and April, and it had many people fearing for his life.

George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush
Shared

His spokesman, Jim McGrath, confirmed that on both occasions, the former president was diagnosed with pneumonia.

McGrath revealed in a statement that the former head of state was being held "for observation due to a persistent cough that prevented him from getting proper rest."

He continued, "It was subsequently determined he had a mild case of pneumonia, which was treated and has been resolved."

Having his son, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, Barbara Bush, "constantly by his side," put the 92-year-old in "high spirits."  

George was cleared to go home shortly after his son's visit.

He president has remained strong by his wife's side as she was in failing health.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family during this very difficult time.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.