Graham 'Resting Comfortably' in N.C. Hospital

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Evangelist Billy Graham is being treated for pneumonia at an Asheville, N.C., hospital.

Graham, 92, was admitted Wednesday morning to Mission Hospital after having breathing difficulties the night before. Graham's pulmonologist, Dr. Shaw Henderson, confirmed Thursday morning that he has pneumonia.

Graham's grandson Jonathan Lotz, son of Ann Graham Lotz, said he is "in good health and good spirits."

Graham was able to release a statement Thursday through his spokesman.

"Thank you for your wonderful support and prayers for my recovery," he said. "I am doing better with each passing hour, and I am grateful for your concern, and send in return my appreciation and love for you all."

Graham rarely appears in public now. Age-related conditions such as macular degeneration and hearing loss have kept him at his home in western North Carolina.

"Certainly for somebody who's 92 years of age with all the health concerns that he has, all the mileage, all the years on him, I would say he's doing pretty well and we're just keeping an eye on him," Lotz said.
Graham's wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007. Family friend Glenn Wilcox says the evangelist misses her greatly.

"I do know he is ready and he's anxious to go to heaven to be with Ruth, but he said 'I don't need to go right this minute,'" Wilcox said.
Testing shows that Graham's heart is normal and doctors say he's clinically stable.

"It's amazing to me how sharp his mind is and how he can talk intelligent about a lot of things," Wilcox added.

"His physical body is just worn out," he said of Graham, who was also hospitalized in 2008 after a fall at home.
Dr. Lucian Rice, Graham's primary physician, says there's no date set for his release but that he's "resting comfortably and is fully alert."

"Although this condition is not life-threatening, we are sure Mr. Graham and his family would appreciate your prayers," Graham's publicist said in a statement.

Friends and family say Graham has been watching television and joking with hospital staff.  His eldest daughter Gigi visited as well as Graham's pastor, Dr. Don Wilton.

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Heather Sells

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