beloved barbara

Former first lady Barbara Bush receiving comfort care at home in Houston

Former first lady Barbara Bush receiving comfort care at Houston home

Barbara Bush reads aloud to student
The former first lady has been a tireless champion of childhood literacy.  Photo courtesy of Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

Former first lady Barbara Bush is receiving comfort care at home and is no longer seeking medical treatment.

A source close to the Bush family tells ABC News she is suffering from heart and respiratory failure. She's recently been in and out of the hospital.

Since the news about her failing health was made public Sunday afternoon, many Houstonians have offered prayers and support.

A common word has been used to describe Mrs. Bush: humble.

Many have said she's a mighty presence, but at the same time, she and husband President George H.W. Bush are regular people.

In fact, Mrs. Bush's condition is top of mind for workers at Molina's Cantina on Westheimer, where the Bushes have been customers for years.

"Very powerful people and they come into the restaurant just like anybody else. They're just two regular people and they don't look at you any different. You feel that that they're approachable and you can talk to them, and wait on them, and you feel comfortable doing it," says Maria Sanchez, manager at Molina's Cantina.

Mrs. Bush is also close friends with Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale. He speaks highly of her, telling ABC13, she's an inspiration and a force for good.

"God bless you and God bless you for all you've done for all of us. She's been an inspiration for my family. Some of the things we do in my family are modeled off the Bush family and modeled off her leadership. Been an inspiration for years. Just an incredible person who led an incredible life for good," says McIngvale.

Barbara, wife of former President George H.W. Bush, served as first lady during his presidency from 1989 to 1993.

A letter recently released by Bush 41's presidential library offers a glimpse into his tender relationship with his wife Barbara.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush have been a fixture in the Houston community during their retirement years.

Barbara is currently the nation's oldest living first lady.


For more on this story, including video, visit our content partner ABC13.