The hospitalization of President George H.W. Bush just a day after he attended his beloved wife's funeral has left many wondering whether the 41st president’s health problems are a result of "broken heart syndrome."
The 93-year-old former president is now alone for the first time since World War II.
Dr. Devi Elizabeth Nampiaparampil says he could be suffering physical ailments due to his emotional pain brought on by the death of Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years.
Dr. Nampiaparampil says dying of a broken heart is real.
“We know that it exists — we just don’t know exactly how it happens," she said. "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."
President Bush was seen shaking hands with mourners who came to bid farewell to Barbara as he sat stoically near the coffin of the former first lady Saturday.
He shook hands with hundreds of people, leading many to speculate that dangerous germs could have been passed to him.
Dr. Michael Daignault discussed the possibility that he could have gotten an infection, like sepsis, from shaking hands.
“Usually when we talk about sepsis there is already an underlying infection like an pneumonia or a bladder infection but to correlate that with him shaking hands is probably not likely," he said.
A spokesperson for President Bush says he's responding well to antibiotics and is determined to get healthy. In addition, the 41st president is looking forward to spending this summer in Maine.