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. Donde esta el bano

    must be nice to have gov health care.

    October 15, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. tkzed

    I guess that healthy living in college is hard to maintain.
    Good luck with the health care system in your recovery.
    God speed.

    October 15, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Butters

    Mr Bush-

    You should have opted for a CABG. Depending on your other medical problems, the data for that is better than stents. You need a better physician. Feel free to contact me.

    October 15, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    Bet he had the best of medical care, paid for by the tax payers. Something his party doesn't want the rest of us to have.

    October 15, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. HM8432

    We MISS YOU, GWB!!! Really. Get well soon, hopefully your Medical Insurance premiums won't skyrocket with the implementation of Obamacare like it did for the rest of us.

    October 15, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Danny Taylor

    Maybe I should not be so surprised that some people can be so hateful. God Bless you President Bush and praying for a speedy recovery.

    October 15, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. San Diego Mayor

    FAKE WARS ARE THE GREATEST!!!! Go Bush, we will always remember you for your Fake Wars!!

    October 15, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Donde esta el bano

    must be nice to have gov health care.
    Ummmmmmm... ask all the defenders of the ACA here – it's NOT government healthcare, it's EMPLOYER healthcare. The "employer" just happens to be the government.

    Now if your statement was "It must be nice to be a government employee", it would be far more accurate.

    October 15, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. George

    This guy should go vegan like President Clinton did. Stents and surgeries are temporary if you do not change your diet.
    Read about Caldwell Esselstyn and how he has exposed current heat treatment industry.

    October 15, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Bush said last month at a golf tournament for other wounded veterans
    "OTHER wounded veterans"?? What war did he fight in? Does being part of the National Guard safesly esconced at home while others are getting their limbs blown off by the Viet-Cong qualify you as a veteran ( no disrespect to the National Guard)? And if so where and when was he wounded? Ingrown toe nails count as a wound these days?

    Everybody seems to be catching on to the subliminal way that the media seeps into our subconscious making us see things that did not happen and believe things that are not true.
    There's hope for us yet.

    October 15, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Hal

    Get well soon, Mr. President.

    October 15, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Trung

    The man loves his pork rinds, I do too. Go Texas!

    October 15, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Dawn

    If you want health care, it's out there for you now, remember? Go sign up for it. God Bless President Bush and I hope for continued good health.

    October 15, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Wes

    San Diego Mayor

    FAKE WARS ARE THE GREATEST!!!! Go Bush, we will always remember you for your Fake Wars!!
    Don't forget your lib buddy lbj! And how many were killed and wounded in his fake war in Vietnam?

    October 15, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. rotorhead1871

    just keep eating those 30 oz steaks and you can count on it happening again......but at least he does have good medical care...

    October 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. SK-B

    Great to see an intelligent, informed comment. Search for Caldwell Esselstyn on youtube

    October 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. rotorhead1871

    forks over knives-watch it and LEARN.....

    October 15, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Marcus (from...?)

    Wes – Yes Vietnam War was based on a lie and, from Eisenhower (who put US forces there even before there was a war) through Kennedy and LBJ and finally Nixon the whole thing was about 'one less capitalist country' in that area.
    Shame on BOTH parties for all the lies, cover-ups, unforgiven allegiances and all that makes that war unfortunately unforgettable...

    The Iraq War ('Intervention' if you preferr), all Bush and Co.; and yes I know that both parties voted for the 'intervention'... after they got memos with FAKE data about those WMDs and ties with Al Qaeda, probably the first POTUS who LIED to the Congress in order to send US troops into a foreign country... and got away with it!

    October 15, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. J P

    I think that the real news here is that George W (member of the Bush Crime Family) actually has a heart!

    October 15, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Dave

    Just think, he could have been like Cheney and got pushed to the front of the line, and received a whole new heart on the taxpayers tab...even though he and his wife are billionaires......funny how they can still be crooks even after getting out of office............I've had 6 stent implants that I have to pay out of pocket for....but my Medical bill is down to only $165,000.00 after my last payment.....

    October 15, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    Obamacare isn't "government healthcare" – ask any private health insurance company exec who is gaining 1000s of new customers.

    October 15, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Rob

    I'm betting that artery led up to his brain.....explains a lot.

    October 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. frogman

    I wonder if this was an artery leading to his brain because that would explain an awful lot.

    October 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. trevor bryant of flagstaff az

    Dang, just 5% to go. We were so close to getting this war criminal! Oh well, There is always next year... or the pretzels (for those who remember).

    October 15, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Natrldiver

    Ray, you are a confused individual. Bush set up and sponsored the tournament and he has been a part of it from the start. It is his way of showing support. How about you show some respect.

    October 15, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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