October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
9 months ago

Bush had 95% blockage before August heart procedure, sources say

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush's heart situation that caused him to undergo a procedure in August was more serious than originally thought, as two sources close to the 43rd president now confirm he had a 95% blockage in an artery.

Bush, 67, had a stent placed in his heart in August at a Dallas hospital one day after the blockage was discovered.

While a 95% blockage is significant, Bush's doctors are not commenting about how grave the situation may or may not have been.

National Journal first reported the level of the blockage, but one source close to Bush downplayed any reports of a near-death experience. Another source said "it was very serious."

The rate at which a vessel becomes blocked is more important than the overall blockage, and the heart can do a good job of compensating, if it has time.

"Certainly President Bush was at significant risk having a 95% blockage in one of his coronary arteries. That doesn't mean he was going to have a heart attack," Warren Levy, a cardiologist, told CNN. "But certainly he was at significant risk for a heart attack and something did need to be done."

Marc Siegel, a physician and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center, penned a column for USA Today in August praising the doctors' fast work on Bush's heart.

"Bush's stress test showed EKG changes, and what happened next was also prudent. A CT angiogram revealed a severe blockage in a crucial position in a coronary artery that was easily life threatening," he wrote.

Bush said last month at a golf tournament for other wounded veterans that he's "doing fine."

"Other than the fact that I nearly bled to death when I nicked myself shaving because I'm taking blood thinner, I'm doing pretty good," he joked in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I thought you were going to have to put a tourniquet on me."

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bush led another group of wounded warriors on an annual long distance bike ride at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The 43rd president was known for having good health during his tenure at the White House. For exercise, he was an active runner and frequently rode his mountain bike.

– CNN's John King, Erin McPike, Andrew Morse, and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Horrible President but believe he's a OK man in real life. Wish him well and good revoery

    October 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Ben Luera

    Wishing him a speedy recovery..POTUS is a heck of a job for anyone..That has to be wear and tear on the old ticker...

    October 15, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. crazyvermont

    wishing him continued good health

    October 15, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Nicole

    Wow a great man like Kidd Kraddick dies from the same thing but this idiot lives....

    October 15, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. jim

    Bush was one of the worst USA President's, and will rot in hell some day!

    October 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. janet

    I would take him back in a heartbeat! No pun intended.

    October 15, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. NotATroll

    Was it clogged with WMD's?

    October 15, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Mike d

    As much as I disagreed with Bush he was a much better man than Cruz and the tea baggers. Wish him a speedy recovery

    October 15, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. All aboard the shutdown express....

    God bless you President Bush...I wish you a speedy recovery

    October 15, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. CSD

    Guy planted so many US soldiers in the ground, did so much damage to this country's standing and economy with his arrogance and ignorance I could give a flying f- what happens to him.

    October 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Mik

    Well that explains a lot... no oxygen to the brain.

    October 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Phil in KC

    @Tammy – I'm really not sure what "Obamacare" has to do with this thread. But – if you think you don't already have someone deciding what procedures you can have or which medication you can take, you are sorely mistaken. The insurance companies drive those decisions today – not you, not your doctor – unless you're independently wealthy. In which case, the ACA (i.e., "Obamacare") will not impact you. Personally, I'd trust the government over an insurance company any day. I can personally give examples where insurance companies have directed the wrong course of action or tried to get by on the cheap – simply because it saved them money.

    October 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Tony Stark

    Great President !

    October 15, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. CSD

    Guy planted so many US soldiers in the ground and damaged this country's global standing and economy so badly I could care less what happens to him. Good riddance in 2008, good riddance today.

    October 15, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Joe Plumber

    Worst president since Hoover (Nixon notwithstanding) – but hope his recovery is faster than the economy he left us with.

    October 15, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Pat

    It sure is nice that W has access to the best healthcare in the country, right? Too bad the rest of us don't deserve access to anything close to that, according to the Teabagging Republicon terrorists.

    October 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Joe

    The UN says there was no proff of WMD i mean blockage, how can you have blockage in the heart when you have no heart.

    October 15, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Cat

    Didn't care much for the Bush administation, but wish him the best of health in the future.

    October 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Red

    The weird part is once they unblocked it he begain speaking in perfect diction. He now sounds like the actor on
    Sleepy Hollow or Niles on Frasier.

    October 15, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Damon Montano

    ...from eating too much red meat.

    October 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Robert Gemerek

    figures that half a lifetime of alcohol and cocaine abuse would catch up to you eventually. Not to mention that bush was on vacation for more then half of his presidency......we should send him to Afghanistan to fight his war on terror.

    October 15, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. winchester74

    Note from Dubya: Dick and I would like to thank the taxpayers – you paid for our heart operations – but just because we get guvment healthcare doesn't mean you suckers will get anything.

    October 15, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. jim

    This helps explain his irrational behavior while he was president.

    October 15, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Guest

    didn't know how much I liked him till we got Obama.

    October 15, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Ace

    Hopefully they cleared the 95% dung blockage out of his head.

    October 15, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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