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Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health

Eight years after she and her husband left the White House, Mrs Bush stood with her husband as their son George W Bush was sworn in as the 43rd president.

An emotional Jenna Bush Hager said that former first lady Barbara Bush is "in great spirits" while she rests at home after refusing medical treatment despite her "failing health".

"She's a fighter. She's an enforcer", Ms Hager said. Her other sons, former President George W Bush and former Governor Jeb Bush, have been in and out visiting her the past week.

She has been treated for decades for Graves' disease, which is a thyroid condition.

"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". Bush told an interviewer, "I sat next to her once, thought she was lovely, and I think she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there". The couple had six children.

Bush Hager, a correspondent for NBC's Today show, told viewers that she spoke to her 92-year-old grandmother on Sunday night after the announcement about her health.

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She is the only woman to see her husband and son sworn in as US president.

"One out of six Americans, literally, can not read above the fifth grade level - that's bad!", said Barbara when she made literacy her focal point while serving as First Lady of the United States.

Bush served as the country's first lady from 1989 to 1993, but also known for her work to promote literacy and reading.

Bush and her husband celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on January 6.

"Barbara and I talked to her last night", she said. He was hospitalized months earlier, also for pneumonia.


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