Barbara Bush Hospitalized

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 1 2014 11:29 AM

Barbara Bush Hospitalized

She's pretty hardy.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On Tuesday, former first lady Barbara Bush was taken to Houston's Methodist Hospital, where she is currently being treated for respiratory-related issues. Bush, 88, has struggled with health issues for much of her adult life. She suffers from Graves' disease, a thyroid-related autoimmune disorder, and has been hospitalized several times in recent years for a perforated ulcer and a hardened aorta. Her spokesman, however, has not indicated that her current malady is life-threatening. 

ABC News notes that this may not be the family's worst health scare:

As bad luck would have it, President Bush and the Bush's family dog, Millie, also came down with [Graves'] disease around the same time. Because of the bizarre coincidence, the Secret Service conducted water tests at locations that the first family frequented -- including the White House, the Bush home in Maine, Camp David and the vice president's mansion. Bush later began taking medication for the disease and received radiation as part of her treatment.

After hearing the news, former President Bill Clinton wished Bush a speedy recovery on Twitter:

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.


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