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

Barbara Bush moves out of ICU

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Proud American

    Doctors are still trying to look into her brain. For anyone to give birth to someone like Georgie something has to be wrong.

    March 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Mercedes

    I pray that Mrs. Bush has a timely recovery. I have had the exact same operation, Aortic Valve Replacement. I know what she is going through.
    God forbid, some of you gripers have to endure what she has just gone through.
    @Pat F She is still somebody's mother and they love her and that is all that matters. Your opinion of her, for all it is worth, you may keep it to yourself!

    March 7, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. bob

    What no statements in this article claiming that she was joking with her doctors when she woke up? That's hard to do when you've got a breathing tube rammed down your throat.

    March 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Mike in VA

    You vulgar libs cannot even contain your deluded political derangements in any sense of decency. You love to make it look like Mrs. Bush is 'lucky " to afford the health care she received. She has the same health care plan that Obama and his wife have, as well all all the other federal government elected officials active or retired ...FOR LIFE!! You mindless wonders should also know that there IS a difference between RECEIVING health care and having something in place you earn to PAY for the health care.

    March 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. ib

    You liberals are sick people; sick in the mind. I despise Obama and what he is trying to do to this country with his goverment take all but I would never wish him or his family to be sick or die from something. If you haven't given up close family members you don't know what you are talking about or you are just have no feelings except for your selfish self.

    March 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. ty

    the country is in deep trouble thanks their politics.
    it made them rich, but not the country..
    but i am happy at least mrs. Bush has money to pay for her medical care although half of the country cant afford it..thanks to shady politics..or wait did i forget to say thank you?

    March 7, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. WisconsinEric

    Mrs. Bush has my best wishes. My father had similar surgery at one year older (84) and lived many happy years subsequently; he too kept a photo of a pig on his wall (as I saw former Pres. Bush saying on CNN). As for the political comments on here, why not treat her like a human being, save the politics for another time!

    March 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Arizonan for Obama/Biden

    Hey Jimbo

    There are responsible Americans that don't have health insurance because they can't afford it. Maybe your name isn't really Jimbo but Rush Limbaugh?

    March 7, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Janice

    After the nasty remarks she made about Hurricane Katrina victims, I'm surprised she had a heart to operate on.

    March 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Pat

    Karrie March 7th, 2009 12:36 pm ET
    . . . Anyone can have health insurance. All you have to do is pay the premiums.

    Absolutely true! And there are many different levels of coverage for which you can buy health insurance, depending on your age and projected health care needs. But, as with anything else - it depends on what your priorities are - expensive toys you don't need or health insurance - simple as that.

    March 7, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Jeff

    I wonder if old and sick Republican aristocrats are in danger of losing their health care coverage.

    March 7, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Beth

    Drea, you, too, are a mean, horrible, evil, disgusting, miserable, repulsive person. He is crying because she is his wife of 64 years. People turning a heart surgery into a political issue, regardless of your political affiliation, must be lonely, miserable people.

    Godspeed to Barbara and the rest of the Bush family!

    March 7, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. decent american

    my husband had this sugery 36 years ago as a teenager, going strong. this is NOT political fodder, only for fools.

    March 7, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. ShirleyAnne Canada

    It's not your time yet Mrs. Bush – so all the best for a speedy recovery. You should be commended in putting together such a lovely family that have dedicated themselves to serve their country. We look forward to Jeb in politics one day soon.

    March 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Henepenny

    It is unfortunate that the right does not understand just how much damage the last president did to this country and how those that have paid a price for his incompatence feel about him and his family. Just ask yourselves why are these people so upset. Let's start with the Iraq war that was not necessary.

    March 7, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. CA Indie for Obama

    Out of ICU is step one; my father never got out when we lost him. My best wishes to Mrs. Bush on a speedy recovery and regards to the family, even W.

    March 7, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Belle

    I am very ashamed of Americans that would ridicule the former First Lady.

    I do suppose if someone you have loved for many, many, many years was possibly going to die, you just might shed a few tears too.

    I wish her godspeed in her recovery.

    March 7, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. karen

    Wishing for full recovery. I guess that earmark for pig odor may came in handle. I didn't know doctors were using pig parts to replace human parts. I think highly of former First Lady. She has always carried herself in a positive strong way. I could see her as President in today's time

    March 7, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I just wondered if ANYTHING can be posted on this website good or even tragic that the left or the right won't make negative or hateful comments about. The right normally attacks the "warm and fuzzy" Obama stories and the left goes after stories like this. It's sad to me in a way. I was never a big supporter of president Bush but I would NEVER want anything bad to happen to his mom. But after seeing somebody post "BIG DEAL" after President Obama's grandmother died some of comments really don't surprise me anymore.

    March 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. joethedumber

    Please get well soon you old dog!

    March 7, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. gary, gpp

    @ andrew 12:33 pm

    I totally agree with you.

    March 7, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Janet

    That's nice for Barbara, but not to worry – she'll receive the best care money and prestige can buy – which is more than I can say for the rest of us and our parents.

    March 7, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. Sick of it!

    How can most of you people expect anything better for your life? All you do is spew hate 24/7 on these posts. That is so counterproductive. Use your vile energy to do something good for people.

    Love=endorphins=feel better. Try it!

    March 7, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. pa

    I wish her well, but always felt she was arrogant. She sure had her hands full with W.

    March 7, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. amt, CA

    This kind of medical care needs to be available to all Americans, not just ones who can afford it. Hopefully we are on the right path to that being a reality of health care for everyone. Thanks to the Obama admin.

    March 7, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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