George W. Bush undergoes procedure for blocked artery

Anna M. Tinsley

Former President George W. Bush is doing well after undergoing a procedure Tuesday morning to open blockage from an artery in his heart.

Bush, 67, went to the Cooper Clinic in Dallas Monday for his annual physical examination and a blockage was discovered in an artery in his heart, according to a statement released by his office.

Doctors placed a stent in Bush to relieve the blockage Tuesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and said the procedure went well. He is expected to be released from the hospital by Wednesday.

“President Bush is in high spirits, eager to return home tomorrow and resume his normal schedule on Thursday,” the statement read. “He is grateful to the skilled medical professionals who have cared for him.

“He thanks his family, friends and fellow citizens for their prayers and well wishes,” according to the statement. “And he encourages us all to get our regular check-ups.”

Son of former President George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush — a former Texas governor — served as the country’s 43rd president from 2001 to 2009.

He and former first lady Laura Bush returned to Dallas to live after leaving the White House in 2009.

Bush drew worldwide media attention earlier this year with the formal opening of his presidential complex on the grounds of the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.

In April, more than 10,000 people — including “the world’s most exclusive club” of President Barack Obama and four former presidents, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton — crowded onto the campus for the formal dedication of the $250 million, three-story complex with a library, a museum and an institute honoring George W. Bush.

While the presidents praised his dedication to country and his guidance during one of the darkest points in U.S. history, Bush said at the time that he still has much he wants to do — help children, assist countries in fighting poverty and disease, empower women nationwide and continue to support service members.

“I dedicate this library with an unshakable faith in the future of our country,” he said. “Whatever challenges come before us, I will always believe our nation’s best days lie ahead.”

At the time, Obama told the crowd that he and others were there to attend the “Texas-sized party” to honor Bush.

While Obama has had harsh words for Bush through the years, he had nothing but praise to offer at the dedication. “To know the man is to like the man, “ Obama said.

“No one can be completely ready for this office,” Obama added. “But America needs leaders who are willing to face the storm head-on, even as they pray for God's strength and wisdom so that they can do what they believe is right. And that's what the leaders with whom I share this stage have all done. That's what President George W. Bush chose to do.”

Anna M. Tinsley
Fort Worth Star-Telegram