Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized hours after wife’s funeral
Former President George H.W. Bush is in intensive care, a family spokesman said Monday.
The former president was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital Sunday morning after contracting an infection that led to sepsis, which can be life-threatening.
Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Bush is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering.
CNN reports that Bush was in critical condition.
“President Bush admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital yesterday morning after contracting an infection that spread to his blood. He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering. We will issue additional updates as events warrant.”
The former President’s hospitalization is especially upsetting for his family because it follows so closely to the death of his wife of 73 years last Tuesday. The family had been worried about how he would deal with her death and such an emotional week, a source close to the former President told CNN.
On Saturday, more than 1,000 mourners gathered in Texas to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.
“We learned to strive to be genuine and authentic by the best role model in the world,” Bush said of his mother. During his last visit with her, Bush said that he asked his mother what her feelings were about death. “Jeb, I believe in Jesus and he as my savior,” she told him. “I don’t want to leave your dad but I know I’ll be in a beautiful place.”
As the family entered the church, the second President Bush guided his father’s wheelchair to the family’s pew. The scene would be repeated as eight of Bush’s grandchildren carried her casket outside following the service.
The service also included eulogies from Bush’s close friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham.
“Barbara Bush was the first lady of the greatest generation,” Meacham said.
The historian said she was a “point of light” because of the kindness and compassion she showed when she embraced HIV-positive and AIDS patients in the late 1980s and her dedication to the issue family literacy.
Baker said that as the “tough, but loving, enforcer,” Bush was “the secret sauce of this extraordinary family.”
“Thank you, dear Lord, for bringing Barbara Pierce Bush, this vibrantly beautifully human being, into the world,” Baker said. “And especially for bringing her friendship into our lives.”
Many of the speakers made sure to include funny stories about Bush, who was known for being quick-witted and having a good sense of humor. Meacham said that during her final days in the hospital, Bush jokingly asked a nurse if she wanted to know “why George W. turned out the way he had.” Meacham said she replied, “I smoked and drank while I was pregnant.”
In another emotional moment, six of Bush’s grandchildren — all women — each read a section from a passage from the Book of Proverbs that began with the lines, “Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'”
The Bushes were married for 73 years.