Doctors: Graham Responding Well to Treatment

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Doctors in Asheville, N.C,. say Rev. Billy Graham is responding well to treatment for pneumonia.

The 92-year-old evangelist was admitted to Mission Hospital on Wednesday after having breathing difficulties the night before.

Physicians say antibiotics have helped clear his congestion and his temperature is normal. Testing shows that Graham's heart is also normal and doctors say he's clinically stable.

His grandson Jonathan Lotz, son of Ann Graham Lotz, said the family is relying on their faith.

"He's in good health and good spirits, but 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 pastor visited him Thursday in the hospital for their weekly time of prayer and Bible study.

"Thank you for your wonderful support and prayers for my recovery," Graham said to supporters in statement Thursday.

"I am doing better with each passing hour," the statement read. "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.

Graham's wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007. Family friend Glenn Wilcox said Graham misses her greatly.

"I do know he is ready and he's anxious to go to heaven to be with Ruth," Wilcox said. "But he said, 'I don't need to go right this minute.'"

Jean Ford, 78, Graham's only surviving sibling, said she last saw her brother two weeks ago when he came for a visit. She added that it was an encouraging time.

"I think he was the best that I've seen him in perhaps five years," Ford said. "He was laughing and joking and initiating conversation."

Graham was last hospitalized in 2008 after a fall at home.

"It's amazing to me how sharp his mind is and how he can talk intelligent about a lot of things. His physical body is just worn out," Wilcox said.

 

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