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. Arthur in the Garden!

    This explains the lack of oxygen to his brain!

    October 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. miguel

    Bush is a good man and a very classy former President. All the best to him.

    October 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. WillieC

    GW Bush, you weren't the conservative we wanted but do we ever wish you were back. Good luck and change your diet for a long life.

    October 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. miguel

    Thank goodness he got it caught before obamacare is implemented.

    October 15, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. rs

    it is nice Mr. Bush is recovering and that he has a sterling, tax-payer funded health care plan- one every other American should have.

    October 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Mete Kroo

    Glad he has insurance that most of his party members don't like us to have. Most people with with the same condition that don't have insurance will be dying simply.

    October 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Mike

    It's funny to see all of the comments on this story that speak of how "we can't afford healthcare like that" and "good for him that he actually has healthcare, unlike many of us."

    Wait a second. Didn't Obamacare enrollment start a week or two ago? You want your free, "top notch" government healthcare, well there you go!!! Sign up right away!! Oh, you've gotten error messages and can't get through on the phone in spite of waiting for hours?

    Shock!!! You mean everything else the government handles is totally jacked up, but somehow you expected them to bring efficiency and quality improvements to healthcare?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Silly liberal, time to start thinking.

    October 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. ed dugan

    He has already been noted as the worst president ever and has cost a lot of American lives through his stupidity.

    October 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. bluedogboy

    If Ted Cruz or Rand Paul ever become President, you'll wish you had another 2 terms of George Bush. It's time for the republican establishment to grow a spine and start fighting back against these lunatics.

    October 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    I'm glad you're doing well George that said, it's hilarious reading through the comments praising the man that FUBAR'd the economy while listening to the outrageous rants against the guy trying to clean his mess up.

    I have but one question to pose. If Bush was the greatest thing since sliced bread, why didn't Mitt want him within 1000 yards of his campaign? During the 2012 George was about as popular as a herpes outbreak at a nudist colony.

    October 15, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. steve

    My guess is that He didn't suffer financially from his medical condition.

    October 15, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Rick

    911 he should be in prison

    October 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. iceload9

    He's likable guy. Horrible president but likable guy.

    October 15, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Rick

    he should be in prison

    October 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. SceneRed

    The one time I wish Dubya would have given us 100%....

    October 15, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Death Mercury

    oh, that's funny I didn't know he HAD a heart!

    October 15, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Dennis

    95%, Isn't that time to do a bypass?

    October 15, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. greenaxe

    Wasn't his disapproval rating 95% too. Maybe Cheney can give him good advice about keeping his heart healthy.
    Amazing the short term memory of the American people and how quick we are to forgive evil.....yeah good luck with that Bush!

    October 15, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Bob

    Were there justice, this piece of human trash and mass-murdering moron would have expired a long time ago. He's right up there with Idi Amin, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin. And, as with his colleagues in mass murder, absolutely no conscience. In bush's case, he's just too stupid to have one.

    October 15, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. 2L

    They should have unblocked it while he was still in office – he could have thought more clearly

    October 15, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. antonio villeda

    this man was instrumental in the demise of the USA internationally; what happened to the USA when he left (economic down spiral) is what normally happened in Mexico when the PRI was in power. Corruption. Cheney made millions if not billions when he was in office with this man as President. let's write about that and not his clogged artery; surely he has the monies to blow on that procedure, while most Americans cannot even afford health care.

    October 15, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Jim

    Bush > Obama.

    October 15, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. steve jackson

    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.

    I believe the writer or editor flipped this sentence with the Memorial Day bike ride sentence....I believe this was supposed to come after that one so that it would make sense.....I do not read an intention to make the reader think Bush was a wounded veteran

    October 15, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Andy Hawkins

    So close and yet so far

    October 15, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. MilitaryAF

    No blood going to the brain. That explains a lot about Bush 43.

    October 15, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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