Mrs Barbara Bush, the wife of former US President George H.W. Bush, is in "failing health"and has decided to no longer seek medical treatment, the office of the ex-president said in a statement from Houston on Sunday (April 15).\r\nThe former first lady, the statement said, "will instead focus on comfort care."\r\nShe is 92 years old.\u00a0Her husband, the 41st US president, is 93 years old.\r\n\u00a0\r\nThe statement provided no details on her condition, but Mrs Bush had been hospitalized for bronchitis treatment in January 2017.\r\nShe had heart surgery in 2009, and was operated on for an ulcer the year before. She had been treated in the past for the thyroid ailment known as Graves\u2019 disease.\r\n\u201cThe President\u2019s and First Lady\u2019s prayers are with all of the Bush Family during this time,\u201d said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.\r\n\u00a0\r\n\u00a0\r\nMrs Barbara Bush has long been considered the rock at the center of one of America\u2019s most prominent political families, as the wife of a president, the mother of another, George W. Bush, and the mother also of a former Florida governor and onetime presidential aspirant, Jeb Bush.\r\nShe first met her husband-to-be at the age of 16; she was a schoolgirl and he was a student at an elite preparatory school in Massachusetts.\r\nThey married in 1945 while he was on leave from wartime service as a naval officer. The couple had six children.\r\nAs first lady, from 1989 to 1993, she embraced the cause of universal literacy, and founded a foundation for family literacy. She gained a reputation for toughness, wry humor and straight-speaking.\r\nAsked in 2010 about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin \u2013 who sought the vice presidency in 2008 \u2013 Mrs. Bush told an interviewer, \u201cI sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she\u2019s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she\u2019ll stay there.\u201dbut said that she had had a series of recent hospitalisations.