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."
While reporting on a story for NBC News' Today show on Monday, Hager said that her 92-year-old grandmother is surrounded by family during her final days.
“We are grateful for her,” Hager said, fighting back tears. “She's the best grandma anybody could have ever had — or have.”
She also said that she and her twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush spoke to their grandmother on Sunday night, sharing, "She is in great spirits and she's a fighter. She's an enforcer."
“She reminded me not to believe everything you read,” she added. “We’re grateful for her for everybody’s prayers and thoughts and just know the world is better because she’s in it.”
She said that her grandmother is with "my grandpa [former President George H.W. Bush], the man she's loved for over 73 years and they are surrounded by family. But I think the fact that they are still together in this and he still says, 'I love you, Barbie,' every night is pretty remarkable."
A spokesperson from the office of the former president announced Sunday that "following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care."
Statement by the Office of George H. W. Bush on the health of former First Lady Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/4csUS6IRKZ— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 15, 2018
“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. She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving," the statement continued.
The former first lady has been suffering from numerous health complications for a long time, according to a report by CNN. Sources close to the presidential family said that Barbara Bush had been in and out of the hospital numerous times in the past year. She is dealing with COPD and congestive heart failure, along with the ailments of old age.
Mrs. Bush has been married to the former president for a total of 73 years. Born Barbara Pierce in 1925, she grew up in Flushing, New York. She and George Herbert Walker Bush met as teenagers. They married in Rye, New York in 1945.
Barbara Bush gave birth to a total of six children. Her sons George W. Bush and Jeb Bush both followed in their father's footsteps and went into politics. Barbara Bush is the only living woman to be the wife of one former president and mother of another.0comments
As the 37th First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush pursued the cause of universal literacy. She founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and called it "the most important issue we have." Throughout her life, she continued working to break the cycle of generational illiteracy, especially in the U.S.
Both Barbara and George H.W. Bush have struggled with their health in recent years. The couple has faced rumors of senility since around the time President Bush left office, and the former world leader was hospitalized less than a year ago due to complications from pneumonia, according to a report by The Telegraph.