March 7th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Barbara Bush moves out of ICU

Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved from ICU Saturday after undergoing heart surgery.
Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved from ICU Saturday after undergoing heart surgery.

(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved Saturday out of intensive care after undergoing heart surgery earlier this week, the former president's spokeswoman said.

Jean Becker, a spokeswoman for former President George H.W. Bush, said the former first lady would be in the hospital for about another week.

Doctors at Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, Texas, performed a 2 1/2-hour surgery on Barbara Bush on Wednesday, and replaced her aortic valve with a pig valve.

"From our perspective, this was a very routine procedure, and we expect her to make an excellent recovery," Dr. Gerald Lawrie told reporters on Thursday.

Bush had experienced "severe narrowing of the main valve that lets the blood come out of the heart into the circulation," Lawrie said.

He said an echocardiogram showed her condition was "extremely severe." Typical symptoms of problems with an aortic valve include shortness of breath,
fatigue, weakness and swelling, he said.

Though his patient is 83, "she's a very fit lady," which helped make the operation a "relatively straightforward" procedure," he said.

Barbara Bush had been diagnosed with the problem less than a week before the surgery. Becker said the former president was visiting his wife Saturday at
the hospital.

Barbara Bush has forbidden her children, which include former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, from visiting until she leaves
the hospital, Becker said.

George H.W. Bush visited her shortly after the operation, saying "I've been a nervous wreck about it."

The former politician said he had received telephone calls of support from President Barack Obama and from surviving former presidents.

Asked to describe what occurred between the two when he saw her, he said, "I don't remember any words. I'm not the anecdotal one in the family. It was
just a reunion of two people who love each other."

Afterward, the former president turned to a hospital administrator and said, "I'm sorry I get emotional, but I can't help it."


Filed under: Barbara Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Cheney

    So?

    March 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. LIKIYE

    IT IS A BLESSING TO BE OLD AND STILL ENJOY GOOD MEDICAL CARE AND ATTENTION. WE WISH BARBARA A SPEEDY RECOVERY AND PRAY THAT ALL AMERICANS SEE THE NEED TO REVAMP THEIR MEDICAL POLICIES TO ALSO BE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD GOOD AND EXPENSIVE MEDICAL CARE.

    March 7, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. another Dave

    It's amazing how many folks who whine about having no health isurance manage to have car payments, cable and HBO, eat out, have rims on their cars (worth more than their cars) You have to take SOME personal resposibility. Hey Health care does need to be reformed, evrybody should have access to basic affordable / preventative care, when it's available I wonder if the lazy whiners will actually use it or will our ER's still be full of non-emergency cases...

    March 7, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. ch

    remember when she said the victims of Hurricane Katrina were "probably better of now than they were before". Ugh – i wish her good health but she is no one to admire.

    March 7, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. C W

    Pat, for some people it isn't a choice between "expensive toys" and healthcare – it's a choice between food and healthcare. And even with coverage, one catastrophic illness (cancer, heart problems, etc.) can bankrupt a family pretty quick.

    Do some research before you start typing!

    March 7, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Time for Change

    I hope Mrs. Bush has a speedy recovery, but I couldn't help but notice George's comment that he was confident she had the best medical care in the world. By the "deer in the headlights" look right after he said that, he must have realized the gravity of his comment -especially after President Obama recently shifted focus to health care reform.

    March 7, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. margaret

    I cannot believe the kind of remarks you people are making. Barbara was the best first lady ever. She is a dear sweet person and I respect her in every way. God bless you dear lady. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

    March 7, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. AndyBlue

    A truely disgraceul woman. The United States and the rest of the world would have been better off if the past three generations of Bush's never existed. Burn in hell Barbara Bush.

    March 7, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. worriedmom

    I am ashamed of some of the statements made here. This is not the place to put your gripes about health care. I hope you don't act this way with your love ones. You guys need some serious help to wish anything bad or say anything bad on a sick individual. Heck, I didnt vote or care for Obama but I would NEVER wish anything bad on him or his family.

    March 7, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. tony

    People, stop whining about how someone didn't give you a handout. The woman had heart surgery and people only worry about themselves. This is the reason our country is in this position, we only care about ourself and not our fellow Americans. Get well Barbara, some people do care.

    March 7, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The former president said "Barbara is getting the best medical care that you can get". I'm glad she's doing fine but don't we all want the same thing. That's why Obama is working so hard for the American people and he will succeed.

    March 7, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Dennis

    "Doctors at Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, Texas, performed a 2 1/2-hour surgery on Barbara Bush on Wednesday, and replaced her aortic valve with a pig valve."

    WAS HER SON THE DONOR??

    March 7, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. rich

    My mama told me when you dont have nothing to say to keep my mouth shout. On this one, Ill follow her advise.

    March 7, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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