October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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. kATr

    All of you are sicko! Stop drinking the "kool aid" being handed out by the WH just because it's FREE. Quit listening to the media and open your eyes and ears to what's really happening.

    October 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Chaerlotte

    wretchedly horrible President and we are well rid of him, it's a pity it will take decades to undo the damage he has done. But I don't wish him ill health. I actually don't care about him one way or another so long as he doesn't influence policy any more.

    October 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Tamira O'Neal

    "Beloved, above all things I pray that thou may prosper and be in GOOD health even as thy soul prospers."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-))))))))))))))))

    October 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. jimi.

    I hope Mr. Bush makes a full recover and lives long enough to be arrested, tried and executed for his crimes against humanity.

    October 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Mr. Conservative

    TO THE FOLKS WISHING HIM HARM: did you folks forget how many of your liberal left wing suckers voted in favor of the war, that bush proposed? do they too deserve the negative wishes of health? hypocrites. the same group preaching life/peace/love = wishes death and evil on those they disagree with.

    October 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Hulot

    Where was the blockage? In the Brain?

    October 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |

    Great President, Great American, Great human being. Wish he still was President then you would not have a government shut down or defaults. President Obama a complete failure.

    October 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |

    Bush's AIDS program in Africa saved millions of lives. If only Obama had one single accomplishment! haha

    October 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. deebee

    Ok, Bush bikes and exercises daily. He stopped drinking long ago. And his artery is 95% blocked? I guess it proves the old saying, Eat right, exercise, die anyway.

    October 15, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Rembrant

    Good thing we paid for his Healthcare! Damn socialist.

    October 15, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Rembrant

    I hated GWB's politics, but still wish him good health.

    October 15, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Chobrut

    Those bathtub selfie paintings really take a toll.

    October 15, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Harry Baxter

    It was the artery going to his brain, right?

    October 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Bill Davis

    He lived because he had health insurance.

    October 15, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. discus_Libby

    Typical Libs – always ranting how hateful the right is but then many are on here spouting venom towards a human being;s health .... hypocrites!

    October 15, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Rachel

    I love GW. So much more presidential than this jerk we have now.

    October 15, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Frank

    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.
    One of my folks had the same issue when Republicans dominated both the house and the senate during the 90s. Almost total blockage. Access was never denied by any Republican and he is doing well today.

    October 15, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. U. S. Citizen

    To bad it was only 95% clogged....

    October 15, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Timbuck2

    Be careful folk, what you wish for others, as you are wishing the same for yourself...

    October 15, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Ed Haskell

    Lemme know when it's 100%. YAWN!!!!

    October 15, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. gilda

    lol. idiot president

    October 15, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. BoFo

    The evil and hatred reflected in some of the comments really shows just how course and valueless our culture has become. One of the sure signs of an inability to make a logical, intelligent, educated argument is to use ad hominem assaults.
    I cannot imagine some of the dark thoughts these people carry around in their heads. It is frightening beyond belief to think what would happen if they decided to act out some of these evil thoughts in evil deeds.
    People, we need help in the worst way. There truly are sick people among us.

    October 15, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Socrates

    I wonder how the feel in Irak about Bush's health. After all he destroyed that country. Mission Accomplished.

    October 15, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Elena Ferrero

    Over 200,000 Innocent Iraqi BABIES, WOMEN and MEN killed under his command and over 15K GI'sand we are feeling sad about this War Criminal? The USA has gone after many dictators who had killed plenty less than his INANE man. He belongs at the Hague so why is he FREE and getting FREE medical care.

    October 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Demigod Vadik, CA


    ...I'm glad they caught it in time...

    ...best wishes to a full recovery Mr. President...

    October 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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