Barbara Bush, in deteriorating health, to halt medical treatment

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Former first lady Barbara Bush has endured a series of hospitalizations and has made a decision to halt treatment for her failing health, according to a statement from her family Sunday.

The short statement did not indicate the nature of Mrs Bush's illness but said that she had had a series of recent hospitalisations. Jim McGrath, who issued a statement, said that she is surrounded by a familyand appreciates the messages and prayers she's been receiving from people.

Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.

The wife of the 41st US president and the mother of the 43rd, Bush is only the 2nd woman in American history to hold the distinction of being a First Lady and First Mother. She is only the second first lady in American history whose her son also ascend to the nation's highest office, the other being Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

She married George HW Bush in 1945. After leaving the White House, Barbara Bush and her husband retired to Houston.

Her husband, the 41st United States president, is 93 years old. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. Bush read a children's book and introduced the patients to her dog during the visit.

All along, Barbara Bush has been regarded as an invaluable asset with a grandmotherly persona that could belie a forthright outspokenness.

They traveled to Texas where the oil business dominated, first in Midland-Odessa, later to the Houston area where George found his love for politics.

Barbara Pierce Bush was born in Rye, New York.