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. Jim Hall

    It would be also nice if the people that do not have health care or are struggling to make the payments for it each month would have the same excellent care she is getting Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    March 7, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. reggie

    God Bless her and her family. All the best for a speedy recovery.

    March 7, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Cliff

    Excellent medical care is available. The best way to obtain it is by working.
    I am amazed at the mentality of those who would be so "hateful" because of a person being ill.
    I think most of them must be products of the "me generation" and expect they are FIRST......even before one who is ill.
    What a bunch of sickos. I can just see you standing in front of your mirror and saying.........

    March 7, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Jason

    I'm glad she doesn't have to worry about health unlike the rest of us that are unfortunate. It's good to hear that Barbara and Dick can afford countless heart attacks. It's also a shame that they don't want to share a bit of that health care with the rest of us. But I guess in their eyes health care is a luxury not a necessity, right?

    March 7, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. G.O.P.: When you've got NOTHING, you've got nothing to lose

    Thank God, Mrs. Bush had good government health care.
    It's a shame about the other 47 million Americans, but the Rushpublicans
    say no.

    March 7, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Thank God Mrs. Bush Gets Free Government Health Care

    So should 47 million other Americans.

    March 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Peggy

    I wish Mrs. Bush the best of luck and a speedy recovery. I am a Democrat and I can't believe the political comments people are making at a time like this. Yes, she and her family can afford hospital care, but heart surgery is heart surgery no matter who you are.

    March 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. SC

    @Proud are the IDIOT!!!!

    Best to Mrs. Bush!

    March 7, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Buck in NC

    What Americans need is affordable health care, not affordable health insurance. The insurance companies are parasites.

    March 7, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Al

    I wish Barbara Bush a successful and speedy recovery.

    March 7, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Bob

    Yes, we are starving after being robbed by the bankers,,,but also paying for this ancient relic to continue breathing? Kill the citag and let it become reincarnated as a starving baby in China or India (or even US). Let that old bag reap some of the suffering her family has wrought.

    March 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. B

    Get Well Soon Mrs. Bush.
    Your husband loves you very much and it takes a real man to be able to cry over someone or something he loves. I'll take a man like that anyday over a cold hearted thug.

    God Bless

    March 7, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Care

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if mental illness received the same level of care...I hear the French and the Brits have good health care. The USA is smart enough to come up with a better plan of universal coverage than any other country, so what is the PROBLEM!

    March 7, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Kathy

    I do not wish Babs ill will, but does anything her family does help the average "JOE" out there. The premiums I pay are out of the ballpark, and the deductible is so high. I hate doctors and don't usually seek health treatment but there are some things I feel I might persue. Broken bones, bloody body. Insane pain. Yea, your husband and son have made it almost impossible to get medical treatment.

    March 7, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Pat

    sensible Cape Coral FL March 7th, 2009 1:23 pm ET
    I'm glad that Mrs. Bush is doing well but I'm sorry we all don't have the same level of health care that she does. Is it our tax money that pays for her care?
    Medicare pays for her care. It also pays for YOUR mother's care if she's 65 or older if she worked and earned enough credits to be eligible for Social Security - OR if her husband has such elibility.

    Also - it's NOT true that most people are automatically discharged from Intensive Care after 2 days, as someone stated in this blog. Discharge depends on many things, including extenuating health concerns - and patients frequently stay in the hospital in step-down units for more than a week.

    March 7, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |

    A speedy recovery to you Mrs. Bush!

    March 7, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Why are some so bothered about who paid for her health coverage? Put the political diatribes aside for once. She was a wonderful first lady and deserves our well wishes. May God bless her and her family.

    March 7, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Craig B

    God bless you Mrs.Bush and get well

    March 7, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Rob in Ark

    WOW ! All that HATE coming from people that belong to the party of love,inclusion, and feel sorry for everybody Dimocrats ? You should be a shamed of it !

    March 7, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Robin

    You are the reason I am not a liberal. Go away angry little man.

    March 7, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. Amazed

    Every American citizen deserves the same medical coverage that Mrs. Bush is getting. Those who were sent to war by her husband and son deserve even more. Since neither are true, I care less about her condition just as she did not care about the condition of millions of unisured who suffered from their illness and all solders who received no post-war trauma treatment.

    March 7, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    I remember when Supreme Court Justice Bader has recent surgery for cancer. Some republicans and others made ingorant statements. Now some liberals and others are making ignorant statements about the former first lady. This proves my point that ignorance and hate is not the domain of any single party!

    March 7, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. lisa

    Ok. So does this means we'll get better jobs or do we need to send get well cards?

    March 7, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Homer

    They needed a very powerful microscope to operate on her heart.

    March 7, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. Dave

    Never been a big fan of the Bushes, but I'm glad she made it through and I hope she gets better soon.

    March 7, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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