The former first lady and wife of 41st US President George Bush snr, 93, is shunning medical treatment in a bid to “instead focus on comfort care”, the office of the ex-president said in a statement this evening.
The short statement did not confirm the cause of her ill health but said Mrs Bush has had a series of recent hospitalisations.
As first lady from 1989 to 1993, Mrs Bush was a popular national figure known for her acid tongue and self-deprecating wit.
She and her husband have been married for 73 years.
She famously quipped: “Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.”
In another famous quote, she said: “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”
They had six children before the family moved to Midland, Texas, where her husband took up politics.
Mrs Bush was known for her adoration for her pet English Springer Spaniel Millie and wrote a children’s book about Millie’s new litter of puppies.
She even included Millie in her official White House portrait.
She was the first U.S. First Lady to become a recipient of the Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund, receiving $36,000, cash she gave to charity.
She previously disclosed she had over-active thyroid ailment Graves’ disease, which her husband contracted shortly afterwards – and bizarrely, Millie too.
The strange case prompted an investigation into the White House water supply, though nothing untoward was found.
Mrs Bush followed Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton was her successor.