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ASHEVILLE, North Carolina-Long-time evangelist, Billy Graham, has been diagnosed with possible pneumonia and has been hospitalized at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where he will undergo observation and treatment.
The Southern Baptist minister has had a personal audience with 12 presidents through the years, beginning with Harry S Truman and ending with President Obama. Although the relationship between Truman and Graham was tense, Graham had a closer relationship with many of the presidents that came after, with the exception of Kennedy. This was for two reasons, Kennedy was a Catholic and Graham was a very close friend of his rival, Nixon.
Billy Graham has authored 29 books, the first in 1947 and his most recent, this year. His crusades have slowed in recent years, Graham spends a majority of his time at home near Asheville.
Here is a statement from Graham’s organization:
Asheville, NC, November 30, 2011 — Evangelist Billy Graham has been hospitalized at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., near his home in Montreat, for evaluation and treatment of his lungs. Upon admittance, he was alert, smiling and waving at hospital staff.
Mr. Graham’s personal physician, Lucian Rice, MD, said that Mr. Graham’s condition is stable. The pulmonologist treating Mr. Graham, Mark Hellreich, M.D., said that Mr. Graham is being tested for possible pneumonia.
Mr. Graham was previously hospitalized for successful treatment of pneumonia in May, 2011. He resumed his ongoing program of physical therapy and normal activity shortly after release, according to his staff. This included finalizing his most recent book, “Nearing Home,” published last month, and beginning work on a new project reaffirming the evangelistic message he has preached for more than 60 years.
While no date has been set for discharge, Mr. Graham is looking forward to returning home to spend the upcoming Christmas holidays with his family.
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