By BosNewsLife News Center
WASHINGTON/ASHEVILLE (BosNewsLife) -- The ailing American evangelist Billy Graham was resting Sunday, August 19, after being admitted to a hospital near his home in North Carolina for evaluation and treatment of an intestinal bleed, officials said.
Graham was admitted to Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville, North Carolina, near his home in nearby Montreat, but his condition did not appear to be life-threatening, said Grahamâ€™s spokesman, Larry Ross. He said the preacher could be released from the hospital in a couple of days.
In a published statement, the hospital said Grahamâ€™s condition had stabilized following his admission, and a endoscopy and a bleeding scan found no areas of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. "The bleeding is not continuing," Ross said. "It stopped as quickly as it began."
In a statement monitored by BosNewsLife, members of Grahamâ€™s staff said he had been resting comfortably throughout the day following the treatment. "He is fully conscious, alert, taking broth and clear liquids, and visiting with members of his family. His physician reported that his blood pressure was good and that there were no signs at this time of new bleeding."
Grahamâ€™s physicians said the bleeding may have come from diverticuli, small pouches that can form in the lower intestine. These may become irritated and bleed. A diverticular bleed often begins suddenly and may stop on its own, according to experts.
Graham, who is 88, lost his wife of 64 years, Ruth Bell Graham, on June 14, 2007. Suffering from a variety of ailments including Parkinsonâ€™s disease and age-related macular degeneration, Graham has been largely confined to his western North Carolina home in recent years.
He surprised mourners at her funeral by rising to talk about his wife, who he described as his "closest confidant" during a six-decade career that took him around the world to preach to more than 210 million people.
"I wish you could look in that casket because sheâ€™s so beautiful," said Graham, clinging to a walker. "I sat there a long time last night looking at her, and I prayed, because I knew she had a great reception in heaven," he added. "She was a wonderful woman."
The latest health news on the world renowned evangelist comes shortly after his appearance on the most recent cover of Time magazine â€“ his fourth since 1954, when he was called the "best-known, most talked about Christian leader in the world today, barring the Pope," The Christian Post news paper observed. Graham is also the subject of a newly released book The Preacher and the Presidents.
He was a friend to every American president since Harry Truman and every one of them "found both a need and a use for this one man," according to the authors, Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. No one else had done the same, they reportedly said. (With reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos).
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