Did Broken Heart Syndrome Hasten President George H.W. Bush's Death?

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Did broken heart syndrome hasten the death of former President George H.W. Bush following the April death of his beloved wife?

The nation looked on as Bush mourned his beloved wife of 73 years, Barbara, in April. The day after her burial, he was rushed to intensive care with sepsis. 

David Valdez, Bush's official White House photographer, told Inside Edition he believed the former president longed to join his wife in the afterlife. 

“I said, 'Wow, talk about a broken heart, it only took eight months,'” he said. 

The former president recovered after his hospitalization in April, but his health continued to deteriorate throughout the year.

Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil, a professor at New York University School of Medicine, told Inside Edition broken heart syndrome is a very real thing. 

"Your heart races, your lungs start working harder and some people because of their age or chronic medical conditions, their body just can’t handle that," she said. 

Granddaughter Marshall Bush was by the former president’s side when he died. Bush had 17 grandchildren, and two of them, Marshall and Ashley, made the rounds on the morning shows Monday. They said their grandfather longed to see Robin, the daughter he lost to leukemia at age 3. 

“Today” show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, one of the daughters of George W. Bush, posted a cartoon depicting her grandparents and Robin reunited in heaven. 

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This brought me such comfort this morning. I had the opportunity to talk with my grandpa about the afterlife. This is what he said: ​He answered without any hesitation. “Yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. I used to worry about death. But now in some ways I look forward to it.” And I started crying. I managed to choke out, “Well, why? What do you look forward to?” And he said, “Well, when I die, I’m going to be reunited with these people that I’ve lost.” And I asked who he hoped to see. He replied, I hope I see Robin, and I hope I see my mom. I haven’t yet figured it out if it will be Robin as the three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she’ll come as a middle-aged woman, an older woman. And then he said, “I hope she’s the three-year-old.” Robin was the daughter this giant of a man lost years before to leukemia. The little girl he held tightly: who spoke the phrase I have heard Gampy repeat for my entire life, forever knitting Robin’s voice into the tightly woven fabric of our family: “I love you more than tongue can tell.”

A post shared by Jenna Bush Hager (@jennabhager) on

Inside Edition spoke to the cartoonist, Marshall Ramsey, about the image. 

"I just know how much he loved his wife and loved his child, and I think that is what he wanted the most," Ramsey said. 

On Monday, the Bush family looked on as the coffin was loaded onto Air Force One, which was renamed Special Air Mission 41 for Bush’s final flight to Washington


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