Barbara Bush Taken To Hospital... Will Stay Over Thanksgiving

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 4:25pm.

After a night that her husband called "serious and scary," former first lady Barbara Bush was resting comfortably at Methodist Hospital today awhile recovering from laparoscopic surgery to correct a perforated ulcer, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Bush, 83, was admitted to the hospital Tuesday night after complaining of abdominal pain.

Hospital spokeswoman Ami Felker said Bush will remain hospitalized through the Thanksgiving holiday, and likely will be discharged next week.

"I am grateful to the Methodist Hospital (staff), who stayed long hours to take good care of Barbara," the former president, who has remained with his wife since she was admitted, said today.

"Frankly, it was serious and scary last night," said George H.W. Bush. "But today, all is well. I appreciate the support from everyone here in Houston and, really, everywhere."

In last night's operation, surgeons cleansed Barbara Bush's abdominal area, then patched and closed a one-centimeter hole in her stomach caused by the ulcer, Felker said.

In laparoscopic operations, surgeons insert instruments equipped with a small camera through a small abdominal incision.

Bush was driven to the hospital by her 84-year-old husband about dinner time Tuesday and walked in on her own, said family spokesman Jim McGrath.

The former first lady had suffered some abdominal pain for "a couple of days" before deciding to go to Methodist, in the Texas Medical Center, McGrath said.

Her illness will have little effect on the family's Thanksgiving plans, other than to force the couple to cancel a trip to Austin to watch the University of Texas football team take on Texas A&M.

Rather than let his coveted tickets go to waste, Bush donated them to one of his wife's doctors, an avid Texas fan whom he would not name.

Current first lady Laura Bush, Barbara Bush's daughter-in-law, said today: "She's doing great. George and I talked to both President Bush and Barbara Bush last night while they were in the hospital and they were both doing very well then.''

Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, Laura Bush said the White House doctor had spoken with Barbara Bush's doctor this morning and ''she's doing very well.''

The former Barbara Pierce, daughter of the publisher of McCall's magazine, married George H.W. Bush in January 1945, when he returned a hero from World War II.

She was the girl who, swept off her feet by a handsome Navy aviator, dropped out of college to marry him, "the first man I ever kissed," and thence was destined for a lifetime role as Supermom.

They had had their first child, George, while still at Yale in 1946. A daughter, Robin, died in 1953 of leukemia a few weeks before her 4th birthday. The other Bush children are sons Jeb, Neil and Marvin, and daughter Dorothy.

For years, Bush has been a sunny presence in American life, the sort of person who would make herself and others comfortable at your kitchen table. But she also was tough.

In the course of being George H.W. Bush's wife, she had to pack up and move the household 28 times before residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington in 1989.

Bush disclosed she was suffering from an overactive thyroid ailment known as Graves' disease when she lived at the White House. The disease causes teary eyes and double vision in Mrs. Bush, according to her doctors.

Allan Turner - November 26, 2008 - source Chron

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 4:25pm.