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. Ed Haskell

    so what!!

    October 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. pcappit

    No need to point out the massive mental deficiencies of the liberals posting their standard vitriol and hate here. If you do not dumb down your comments to a bumper sticker slogan, than your comments and thoughts will be light years beyond the severely limited mental capabilities of your average Liberal, Progressive and lifetime Democratic voter.

    October 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Matt

    As evil as some of you say bush was, can't you say the same about Obama and his policy of targeting Americans abroad without due process? His indiscriminate drone strikes can be questioned as illegal and therefore brand him a war criminal as well.

    October 15, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Peter

    I love all the comments that Bush is a war criminal. If that is the case, so was FDR and Truman.

    October 15, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. lathebiosas

    Was not a big GW fan, but really people, this is a man's life we're talking about. I'm glad he's okay.

    October 15, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. BEZ

    why did he get a CT angiogram... any other docs on here that don't know a CT angiogram to be the standard of practice after EKG changes? Why not straight to cath, if symptoms and EKG changes?

    October 15, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Jimmy

    @ed dugan
    W the " worst President ever"?
    Sorry Ed that position is alreday taken by Jimmie Carter.

    October 15, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. William

    I'm sure they will bump him to the top of the transplant list just like mccain; 2 people prior to their condition I didn't know even had a heart.

    October 15, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Donald Forbes

    If he cut himself shaving where would they put the tourniquet? he haw!

    October 15, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. jack

    LOL too funny a story..

    October 15, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. port1974

    let me know when he's dead...no point in celebrating early

    October 15, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Steve

    Peter, Bush's actions in Iraq was a war of choice not necessity. It was done for oil and family vendetta.

    October 15, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Kevin Shea

    ............and he has had a 1,000,000 % brain blaockage for the past 15 years at least !!!!!

    October 15, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. John

    II'm a liberal and unlike many of the posters here, I am happy to see President Bush doing well and in good health following his procedure. Despite many of the actions he took as President which I disagree with, the President has a difficult job to do. He listened to his advisors and I'm sure he made the best decisions possible at the time.

    The public does such a good job of "armchair quarterbacking" decisions made by the President. Unfortunately, with exception of maybe Ronald Reagan and his wife's consulting of a psychic, Presidents do not ultimately know the long-term ramifications of their decisions. Just because you may have chosen a different course of action does not make George W. Bush, or any other President for that matter, a bad President or a bad person. We, as the public, must accept the results of our democratic electoral process. We can make our opinions known through contacting our elected officials, but ultimately if our elected officials are not doing the job "we" elected them to do, then we can work hard in the next election to find somebody new.

    October 15, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. jamessavik

    Stay classy liberals. Bush and O'bozo are so similar policy wise, I'm thinking you hate the guy because there just isn't much difference.

    October 15, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. jharry

    I miss George. The last best Pres we had.

    October 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Dana P.

    Genetics is a large factor regardless of a healthy eating/exercise lifestyle.
    There are a lot of people I don't especially like, my ex mother-in-law, and I wasn't thrilled with "W", but I would never wish illness/death on anyone. Oh sure, sometimes it is nice to have a fantasy....

    October 15, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Zach

    It would be nice to have money to go to the hospital the next day... or maybe insurance... or have a heart ready waiting for you like Mr. Chaney.

    October 15, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Stella


    October 15, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. bbrooker88

    I thought Bush was a terrible President but I would never wish him ill. He was our President and deserves respect, not to mention since leaving office he has been doing a lot of good humanitarian work.

    October 15, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Stella

    Cruel comments on this site. Liberals will eat their words be day. Bush family true Americans.

    October 15, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Leah

    Lay off the pretzels

    October 15, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Hollywood

    Get well soon Mr. President. Relax and enjoy life.

    October 15, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Really CNN?

    I am really shocked, wait no I'm not, reading the comments on this page. C N N is notorious for deleting comments, but not when it comes to the hatred on this message board. Who cares about political affiliation, these posts are vile and disgusting. Sure, some of them are trolls, but some of them are not. I wouldn't wish I'll will to any individual, but using your political rage to do so, speaks volume of your intelligence level.

    October 15, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Bill

    Bet he feels a lot better now. Wish him well and speedy recovery.

    October 15, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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