Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his home in Montreat, North Carolina early Sunday (May 15, 2011) afternoon following a five-day stay at nearby Mission Hospital in Asheville for treatment for pneumonia. Mr. Graham was hospitalized early on Wednesday, May 11.
Physicians for the 92 year-old evangelist say his response to treatment has been excellent, and that he has regained strength, but emphasized that his recovery will be slow.
“He has responded very well to treatment, with progressive improvement since his admission,” said Lucian Rice, MD, Mr. Graham’s primary care physician. “We expect continuing recuperation at home with very gradual recovery, returning to normal activities over several weeks. I’m delighted that he has come back this fast.”
Dr. Rice noted that Mr. Graham had experienced no complications as of his discharge. “It’s a really encouraging sign,” he said.
Upon leaving, Mr. Graham thanked the hospital staff for the care they have given him.
“I am grateful for this wonderful hospital so close to my home,” Mr. Graham said. “The physicians and staff have shown such skill and compassionate care. I am deeply touched by the prayers and best wishes of so many people for me, and I look forward to returning home and resuming my normal activities soon.”
During his hospital stay, Mr. Graham was able to continue with his usual routine, said A. Larry Ross, spokesperson for Mr. Graham. He had his usual weekly Bible study and prayer with his pastor, Dr. Don Wilton, on Thursday. He further enjoyed visits from one of his daughters and a grandchild, and interacting with hospital staff.
Ross added that during his time of recuperation at home, Mr. Graham will continue spending time in morning and evening Bible study and prayer with family and staff.
He plans to keep informed of the ongoing ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) under the leadership of his son, Franklin. As he has done in the hospital, he also hopes to continue to stay abreast of current events through nightly local and network television newscasts and cable programs. And, as his strength allows, he looks forward to eventually being able to receive visits from close personal friends.