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. Karen

    Sometimes it better not to say anything at all....when you open your mouth it shows you lack of intelligence!

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

    w was always a block head.

    October 15, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Sux

    And they saved him?????

    October 15, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. SuzieQ

    And they saved him???? Why? Guess it's true what the say about "only the good die young".

    October 15, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Decima

    "No need to point out the massive mental deficiencies of the conservatives 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 Conservative and lifetime Republican voter."

    Fixed. Makes much more sense this way.

    October 15, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Truth

    Aah, nothing like seeing "tolerance" from the far left party of hate. Wishing ill health is pretty low even for your side...

    October 15, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Tammy

    This is just my opinion, not meaning any disrespect. Me personally, I do not want Obama care. I have read everything from good to the bad. An I will not sign up for something that has so many hidden things in it. Some parts are good , but way more parts are Wrong. I don't believe people should have to pay a tax for being married. An I will NOT have someone else deciding what I can and cannot be treated for, no matter the illness. My number one reason I will not sign up for it, I will never be forced to do anything I do not want to do. This is still a free country and I am my own person. And maybe you higher ups should set a better example and get Obama care your self. Just my opinion. Thank You.

    October 15, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. bilbfit

    We can always hold out hope for sickle cell.

    October 15, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Former Texan

    Poor George; had he not gotten serious after his rowdy 20's, slowed down in his 30's', and became a serious politician in his 40's and 50's he'd have been a healthy '60ish.

    October 15, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. tafugate

    we really should be hoping shrub lives to be a very ripe old age. after murdering 4000 american servicepeople, he should be thinking about what he did for a very long time.

    October 15, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Truth

    Aah, nothing like seeing "tolerance" from the far left party of hate. Wishing ill health is pretty low even for your side.....

    October 15, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Slappy_McGiggles

    Thank God they saved the Bush man!!!!

    October 15, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Matt Weiss

    I'm a lifelong Democrat who wore a "Worst President Ever" Bush T-shirt during his administration.

    I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

    And one other thing: these comment fields are always full of Democrats and Republicans slagging each other's presidents and parties, and I suppose that's appropriate, though the level of discourse and civility could use some elevation.

    But as a Democrat, I have noticed one voice that his been totally absent in trashing President Obama, and that's President Bush. I respect that.

    October 15, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Tammy

    I bet my comment won't even make it on here. That's ok, I got it posted several other places on the web. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Respect those that respect you. Whoever is reading these comments before there posted, Have a great day. 🙂

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

    it had been probably 85% blocked when he was the president, that gives 15% of blood going to the brain and that makes sense now, I always wondered how he could have been president and voted second term too. Now all the people that voted for him esp for the second term better get yourself checked because you also voted with like -5% blood going to your brains...

    October 15, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. veggiedude

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

    FDR and Truman did not have a first strike policy.

    October 15, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. mickinmd

    After I had value and stress heart tests done over three days to make sure I was healthy enough to begin regular strenuous exercise in my 60's, someone said, "You sure like getting tests for everything!"

    I replied that my insurance had low or no copays for tests so I was going to be proactive and prevent any small problem from becoming a big one. If you can afford it, I think everyone should think that way.

    I was never a fan of G W Bush or Cheney but I applaud their examples of getting regular checkups and acting on their doctors' advice.

    October 15, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Larry

    Doesn't matter if you exercise or not, it can happen to anyone.

    October 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. CorkeyPicklesworth

    He has a heart?!!?

    October 15, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. you all stink

    only 95%? that's a shame.

    October 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Firstname Lastname

    Damn! Almost gone... Almost. Keep eating bacon W!

    October 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. DEAN

    Here is a guy who exercises regular, eat reasonably well, doesn't drink anymore and still has this kind of blockage. Shows this runs in the family.

    October 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Fez

    Hate on bush for all i care but wishing that they couldnt save him is another thing. You guys and your stupid politics makes u guys want another man dead grow some brains and then maybe you can partake in this convo

    October 15, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Hey Ginny, Bush helps raise money for the Warrior project. Is that OK to do or not? By the way, please tell us what branch of service Obama served under?
    This is what you guys do everytime someone slams you or your pseudo-heroes, you deflect.
    The story is about Bush, his heart stent and the glaring journalistic error that states that he was a wounded veteran, which he wasn't.
    It is not about what projects he was involved with, what he joined to avoid Vietnam, or how many people got killed because of his stupidity, lies and dereliction of duty.
    And it certainly isn't about President Obama.

    October 15, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Dirk

    Some of the folks making nasty comments need to do some introspection. I have never wished anyone poor health or worse regardless of how much I may have disliked them. Grow up!

    October 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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