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. malcat

    This is a man who exercised ...not walking a golf course exercising but REAL exercise. He was healthy!

    October 15, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. thenitenurse

    George W. was lucky. He was evaluated at the Cooper Clinic who does the most through physicals in the nation. They are extremely expensive and usually only millionaires or the heavily insured can afford these evaluations. Had he just gone the routine route it's quite possible that without symptoms he could have died suddenly. Most doctors won't usually do a through work up unless they suspect a problem.

    October 15, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. born in USA

    We are blessed to live in a free speech society. Even so how about a kindness for someone's son, husband, brother, father and our seriously ill former president. Trust God to judge his deeds; and the deeds of our 44th and subsequent presidents. Know too I believe God...He will judge all of our deeds and we will account to Him some day. Do to others what 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 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. myrtlemaylee

    I'm very glad that Pres. Bush's heart problem was detected & fixed & I wish him the best of recovery & health. However, since we all know that he's been very active, biking, cutting brush etc. his case proves that "conventional medicine" spews BS without firm facts constantly. Today they were blathering on about diet, genes, smoking, whatever. In other words, it's a crapshoot & we're all human & we will be well advised to get appropriate physicals. Screeching about smoking, TV, fried chicken etc. won't let us all live forever.

    October 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Catharsus

    God bless, George Bush.

    October 15, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. cbp

    This is not uncommon for the arteries to be closed. This really is not something we all need to know. Not sure why so much is written about these operations, etc. Don't think it is necessary to write anything sarcastic or mean-spirited. Best to say nothing when you cannot say anything positive.

    October 15, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. ImvotingforHillary

    Never liked the man, but I am glad he is ok.

    October 15, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. mike.coleman30@gmail.com

    Glad he got to the doctor in time. Swedge70 and Anonymous I wish the same for you should it happen to you. By the way you are both very sad individuals.

    October 15, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Teddyg

    Agreed with earlier poster that GW is a decent chap. No need to go political at this moment. I simply wish my best to him.

    October 15, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Karl Thoennes

    I guess all the hateful personal nastiness shouldn't be surprising. All that insulting hatred is exactly what's wrong with this country and its government. Washington is just a reflection of the same people on here who can't resist hurling childish insults at a former president's health condition.

    October 15, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  11. boredofceleb

    I'm no fan of George Bush, but I won't stoop so low as to wish ill health/death upon him or anyone. Those who do are showing their evil side. Don't wish ill upon anyone–what goes around, comes around.

    October 15, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. DocChris

    I bet he had health insurance.

    October 15, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. twalk

    that free healthcare the Taxpayers pay for is working great for GWB and Cheney.

    October 15, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. America

    I had issues with President Bush, but man, he is a genius compared to what is in the White House now...

    October 15, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. Tom Charter

    Nice that he had health insurance... and even if he didn't, his millions would take care of him... so it's a no-brainer that him and his lot of Republicans don't want health care provided to those who can't afford it, mostly Democratic voters, since the costs would be borne by all Americans, including Republicans...

    October 15, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. Strangways

    wow, must be genetic because Bush spent a lot of time on vacation, working out and chopping wood for 8 years.

    October 15, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. Shecky

    God bless you President Bush. Get well and be healthy.
    You were a great president. The one we have now is pathetic and is ruining this country.

    October 15, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Glenn Libre

    That's what happens when you quit drinking. It cleans the veins. Too much of course causes other problems. I hope he is well despite our differences.

    October 15, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. jim

    I miss Bush!

    October 15, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  20. Vern

    Wow, the former President is lucky he didn't kick the bucket with that kind of news. Not a fan of his politics, but glad to hear he's doing well.

    October 15, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. chedar888

    clogging is the results of diet and genetics combined. But the American diet of red meat is horrific. So 95% clog is not strange.

    October 15, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. chedar888

    American diet is full of red meat. Its inevitable that 95% of the artery is clogged.

    October 15, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. nomad2003

    The libs/dems hera are pathetic...
    You did not see repubs/tea party wish Hillary ill will when she was sick..

    Libs are great at permiting freedom of thought so long as it matches their thought...

    President Bush, get well. The decent people on earth wish you well.

    October 16, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  24. Mike

    I am glad W is ok but at he same time, I miss him. A true leader.

    October 16, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  25. YKD

    If you have nothing nice to say – say nothing at all. My folks taught me that. As a result l will refrain from posting my initial thought/wish.

    October 16, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
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