Graham hospital stay expected to be brief

|

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Billy Graham is recovering in fair condition after he was hospitalized for intestinal bleeding, which doctors do not believe is life-threatening.

Officials at Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville, N.C., said Graham, 88, had an "excellent night" Aug. 19 after having watched the televised worship service at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday morning.

Doctors said the bleeding may have come from diverticula, small pouches that can form in the lower intestine, which can become irritated and bleed. The evangelist had a similar problem during a crusade in Toronto in 1995, A. Larry Ross, a Graham spokesman, said.

An endoscopy and a bleeding scan found no areas of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, the hospital said in a statement.

"It stopped as quickly as it began," Ross said Saturday, adding that Graham could be released from the hospital in a couple of days.

Franklin Graham and his sister, Gigi, were with their father at the hospital.

"He's doing real well," Franklin Graham said. "He was sitting up, eating."

Graham also was able to walk the halls of the hospital and visit with family and friends, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

"There's been no more of the recurrence of the bleeding that he had the night before last," Franklin Graham said Sunday evening. "[The doctors] were very pleased with his blood pressure and hemoglobin, so it looks like he's over whatever he had. I think if he has a good night tonight, there's a good chance he could get to go home in the next day or so."

Graham suffers from Parkinson's disease and age-related macular degeneration as well as other health problems. He last spoke publicly at the funeral for his wife, Ruth, in June.