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Ailing Former First Lady Barbara Bush Halts Treatment, Is Seeking 'Comfort Care'

Official White House portrait
Former First Lady Barbara Bush in the White House East Room for an official White House portrait, January 1992.

Former first lady Barbara Bush has endured a series of hospitalizations and has decided to halt treatment for her failing health, according to a statement from her family Sunday. 

Bush, 92, will instead focus on receiving "comfort care," the statement said. 

"It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others," said a statement from the office of her husband, former President George H.W. Bush. "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving."

Barbara Bush is the matriarch of a storied family of politicians, many of whom have Texas ties. Her husband was president from 1989 to 1993. In 2000, her son George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, was elected president. Another son, Jeb Bush, was governor of Florida and unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016. 

She is also grandmother to George P. Bush, the current land commissioner of Texas. 

As first lady, she pushed family literacy, and established a foundation for the cause. After leaving the White House, Barbara Bush and her husband retired to Houston. They also established a presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station. 

Both husband and wife have dealt with deteriorating health in recent years. Barbara Bush was hospitalized 2017 after due to fatigue and coughing. In early 2017, both she and her husband missed the inauguration of President Donald Trump, citing health reasons. 

Disclosure: Texas A&M University has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

Matthew Watkins writes about higher education and the business of college sports for the Tribune. Previously, he has covered local government at The Dallas Morning News and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. A Texas native, Matthew grew up in Austin and has lived in Houston, Dallas and Bryan. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 2008.