March 7th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
6 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. S Callahan

    Thank God for medical care! Mrs. Bush, I pray for your speedy recovery and future good health .
    It really puts things in perspective....good health is a blessing.

    March 7, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Linda in MS

    I am very pleased that Barbara is doing well after her surgery. I wish her all the best.

    March 7, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. ~~ July ~~

    Get well soon Mrs. Bush.

    March 7, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. lou

    she is being reincarnated piece by piece

    March 7, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Texan

    It would be nice if all Americans could get the excellent medical treatment the Bush family enjoys.

    March 7, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Nancy

    Wish her well. She has a great spirit.

    March 7, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Stay Active

    Our prayers are with you Mrs. Bush. I just wish everyone in the US could afford this kind of care.

    March 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Andy

    Too bad that the vast majority of Americans would probably lose everything if they had a similar health crisis. Not Barbara Bush, though... she'd probably think that bankruptcy due to medical bills was "working out quite well for them," as she said about Katrina victims that were stuck in the Superdome.

    March 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Anna, ATL

    Although I don't support her family's politics, I wish Mrs. Bush the best for a speedy recovery!

    Before any of you posters get too nasty, Mrs. Bush should be acknowledged for telling the GOP to drop the PRO-LIFE position from their platform, contrary to her then-President's official position.

    You're a brave woman, Mrs. Bush! Godspeed!

    March 7, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Jen, Cali

    Speedy recovery, Mrs. Bush. We're pulling for you!

    March 7, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Anonymous

    We pray for you in recovery

    March 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. K Roberts

    Lucky Barbara Bush to have the money and the health insurance to have that kind of care. Think of all the Americans who don't get any medical care!

    March 7, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. worriedmom

    God Bless You Mrs. Bush and family!!

    March 7, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Had It

    Most people that have that surgery are pushed from the ICU in 2 days, and released to go home in 2 more days.

    I guess the insurance WE provide her gives more money for better care. Shame on us for allowing these injustices.

    March 7, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Max

    Maybe the human valve was the wrong one to begin with.

    March 7, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Harry

    We wish you well. God Bless.

    March 7, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. gary, gpp

    Betcha you don't have to worry about health insurance, eh Babs ? Oops, there I go talkin' like Sarah Palin again.

    March 7, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. rl_OH

    One of the most respected members in the Bush family.
    All the best on a speedy recovery Mrs. Bush.

    March 7, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Sylesh

    You and your husband did a great job in the White House. I wish you the best of luck.

    March 7, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Lush Limprick and Osama bin Laden share the same vision for America - FAILURE

    Best wishes to the former First Lady!

    March 7, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Jimbo

    lou March 7th, 2009 11:00 am ET
    she is being reincarnated piece by piece
    _____________________________________________________
    Lou Please do the world a favor and run into incomming traffic!
    Good luck Barb we love you!

    March 7, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Jimbo

    Andy Too bad that the vast majority of Americans would probably lose everything if they had a similar health crisis. Not Barbara Bush, though… she'd probably think that bankruptcy due to medical bills was "working out quite well for them," as she said about Katrina victims that were stuck in the Superdome.
    ======================================================
    Responsible Americans have health insurance. Get off your but and stop the pitty party ...or poor me it is so tough to live in America.
    Typical needed democrat!!

    March 7, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. JayPA

    Wishing her a speedy recovery.

    March 7, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Dixon

    God Bless you Mrs Bush.

    March 7, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Connie Sturgeon from Indiana

    My Prayers are with the former first Lady and her family.Rest and get well fast.

    March 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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