Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barbara Bush taken to Methodist Hospital

Former first lady Barbara Bush was taken to Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center Tuesday evening after suffering a "little bit of pain," family spokesman Jim McGrath said.

She had been experiencing some pain during the week, but McGrath did not know what it was.

The 83-year-old was taken by private car about dinner time, and doctors are running tests, he added.

"So far everything is negative," McGrath said.

"Fortunately, it looks like it's going to be a small matter," he said.

Bush will be kept overnight for observation and is expected to be released Wednesday, McGrath said late Tuesday. Former President Bush was with his wife at the hospital.

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 1988.

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.

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