COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Barbara Bush and family have decided not treat some of the serious conditions affecting the 92-year-old former First Lady.
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Birthday 6/8 1925, Photo Date: January 8, 1989
Photo: David Valdez via MGN.
She is battling a number of ailments, including some that are fairly common, like congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
"This type of lung diseases compromises both chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema. This condition, unfortunately, it's also associated with some of the same symptoms when you have congestive heart failure, which is shortness of breath," said Dr. Marcel Lechin, a cardiologist at BCS Heart in College Station.
He isn't treating Mrs. Bush or aware of her entire health history but knows many details about congestive heart failure.
"Unfortunately it's always a progressive condition. It always progresses," he said."Heart failure is a big problem in people over the age of 65. Pretty much 20% of all admissions in people over the age of 65 are due congestive heart failure in this country."
Monday Baylor Scott & White launched a new Congestive Heart Failure Clinic in College Station.
"What really is happening is the heart is not pumping effectively so the fluid will back up into the lungs. It can back up into other parts of the body causing shortness of breath. It can cause swelling within the extremities," said Laci Overstreet, the charge nurse. She also said awareness about the disease is growing.
We're told the Bush family has decided not to treat the diseases any longer.
"Comfort care is just trying to get them to be as comfortable as possible hopefully in the comfort of your home surounded by your loved ones," Lechin explained.
Barbara Bush is being cared for at her home in Houston.