October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
1 year 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. Tom in Desoto, TX

    We know blood to the brain was 100% blocked going back to 1996 when he was governor of Texas and further proved it for 8 years in the White House. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.....

    October 15, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Clayton Bigsby

    Screw that piddly artery....Now Watch This Drive!

    October 15, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Atul C.

    Anyone who thinks that Bush was a bad president needs to get his head examined. Either he/she is left wing liberal or has low i q. He protected the country for next 8 years. Came into worst recession that had started during Clinton era (it's a fact) with dot bom-, 9/11 etc. He was instrumental in getting back the country to a healthy economy by 2004. Then media and bad Iraq planning paid the way to democrats take control of the congress in 2006. Since then it has been down the hell (I meant to say that). We have an excuser in chief in the white house who thinks that president's job is to play golf and blame every one else. AHC has been disaster so far. It will be nightmare for businesses and consumers, a boon for insurance companies.

    October 15, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. AgrippaMT

    Too bad Bush's artery wasn't totally blocked. Then he would have died and that would be good for America.

    October 15, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. airjackie

    Well there is a God and he does give you back what you give out. Bush has been a drug and alcoholic all this life. The lie he told in 2001 about being off drinking seen as a lie as he was seen World wide at the 2012 Olympic drunk as a skunk and trying to feel on Volley Ball players live on TV. The heartless evil man ordered the death/torture of millions of people and the lies that had over 5,000 soldiers killed in Iraq. Satan's son Dick Cheney led George W. and now the Bush Family is doing their best to save GW. The haunting of the dead is what George W. sees. Even Barney the dog felt death was better then living with GW and Beasley ran away right after he left office. GW is living in hell today and each second he suffers for what he did to innocent people.

    October 15, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Here in Texas we've known Bush had a 100% blockage of blood going to the brain going back to at least 1996 when he was governor. A mind is a terrible thing to waste....

    October 15, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Mike

    Another example of Republican obstructionism.
    Actually, I wish him the best for a healthy recovery, and believe it is in poor spirit that people wish him ill. Reflect on how others have wished ill on Obama and try to be more generous

    October 15, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Don

    5% short and 15 years too late

    October 15, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Dylanesq

    He's STILL trying to excuse himself from all his stupidity ?

    October 15, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. PREMAL D.SHAH

    He is a devil....only a devil can survive a body without any blood...

    October 15, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. punk in the front

    No Sadamm take down, No Arab Spring. We'd still have Ghadafi, Hussein, Mubarak, the Ayatollah, and Assad to deal with. Instead, we jus have Assad and the Ayatollah. and neither of them are feeling too good, either.

    October 15, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Deist

    America's biggest embarrassment of this century lives on.

    October 15, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. born in USA

    We are privileged to live in a 'free speech' society...but there should be some kindness shown for the person...a son, husband, brother, father and former president who was very ill. Trust God to judge his deeds; the deeds of our 44th President and those that follow; know this too, God will judge the deeds you and I have done in these bodies; it is better to 'do to others as you desire done to you.' Forgive and you will be forgiven...live your best life so that someone living in darkness, without hope will see the light and find reason to believe. Dr. King once said, 'we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.'

    October 15, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. rob

    Was that a brain artery? 'cause that would explain things.

    October 15, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. خ ̷̴̐خ

    Be polite. He may have been a village id10t but he was POTUS.

    October 15, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Yes, WE MISS YOU...............too bad we have to learn
    the hard way that you were a Better President thatn Obama

    October 15, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. ObjectiveGuy

    Glad to hear President Bush's doctors caught this in time, and were able to get him healthy again. Say what you want to about him, but Bush was a true American who loved his country. His administration never stooped to the level of divided partisanship that has become commonplace in the administration of our current Divider in Chief, who by contrast, does not even seem to understand what this country is all about. Under Bush, we were moving forward, and since that time, we have slid backward. I sure do miss him.

    October 15, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. no one cares

    too bad it wasn't 100 % blocked...he has always been a great joke...go away and never come back!

    October 15, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Clogged

    Maybe his artery needed a pre-empative stint strike.

    October 15, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. Ed Haskell

    Wake me up when it's 100%.

    October 15, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. Tag9

    They didn't say which artery was it. If it was a major one he is lucky to be alive. A minor one would just cause dizzy spells.

    October 15, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. sly

    Best luck recovering, Mr. Bush.

    Oh, by the way, Mr. Bush took histories BIGGEST SURPLUS, and turned it into histories BIGGEST DEFICIT.

    And 100% of Republicans voted for his bills to increase the deficit and increase debt.

    100% of Republicans voted FOR what they now shutdown government over.

    Two words explain this 180 degree shift in the GOP: BLACK SKIN.

    October 15, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. suzie669

    Most of people are born healthy or in good shape, in general. Don't forget we are human and so everything we do and we eat must be in control.
    1/ Don't be workaholic. Schedule of 40 hrs a week is already max. Your body, physical and mental states, is like a car. It needs rest and TLC before it breaks down.

    2/ Water and organic fruit juices (choose those has minimal sugar contents) are far better than alcohol, caffeine loaded products, soft drinks, etc.

    3/ You are the most important after God. Give yourself time to relax and loosen stress : yoga, swimming, walking, exercise, etc. I guarantee you: 30 min a day of exercise makes a HUGE difference in your life (physically and mentally)

    4/ Vegetables, fruits and grains are GOD GIFTS, They come before human comes to Earth. He gave them to us so take them joyously.

    5/ Women: red meat once a month due to menstruation. Men: less red meat is better for you. Both: max 4 eggs per week.

    6/ Stop worry too much. We all have to die one way or another. Why make yourself and others suffer in this life?

    7/ Turn off phones, computer and TV once a week. It is incredible peaceful. I tried before when I was in college. No TV in my studio for the straight 4 years. First, it was crazy. I felt boring and depress and useless even I had full time class schedule with part time job. Next, I got used to it and started to appreciate the quiet time without TV. Until today, I watch TV 1 hr or less for 2 -3 times a week. I feel sluggish when I sit in front of TV. I know it cannot control my way of thinking anymore.

    8/ Life is very beautiful when you are healthy. Trust me. When you are sick, you cannot eat, sleep, work or do anything. Everything you earn will be gone to pay for medicines, doctors, hospitals, labs, etc.

    9/ One X-ray cost over $800. One Tylenol dispensed in hospital for you cost $6 per tablet. Ambulance is between $5000 to $7000. One night in hospital for a moderate condition is about $7000. Three days in hospital due to heart attacks, the bill is about $25000.

    10/ Be good to yourself.

    October 15, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Swedge70

    Was it his brain artery? Because that would explain a lot.

    October 15, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    too bad the other 5% didn't get involved

    October 15, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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