Billy Graham Home for the Holidays

By   •   November 30, 2011

Pulmonologist Mark Hellrich, M.D., physician for the 93-year-old evangelist, said he has made good clinical progress in combating the pneumonia in his steady response to antibiotics, first intravenously and then following his improvement, transitioning to oral medication. His program of physical therapy also advanced daily as he demonstrated increased strength and mobility. 

This recent hospital stay also gave Mr. Graham’s personal doctors an opportunity to work with hospital colleagues to complete routine tests and studies that were already scheduled for Nov. 30. Mr. Graham’s home staff and physicians were also able to refine his ongoing plan of care for age-related medical challenges after reviewing the latest test and study results.

“I am grateful for the many thoughts and prayers expressed by individuals across the country and around the world during my stay at Mission Hospital,” Mr. Graham said upon discharge.  “I also appreciated the wonderful treatment I received here from such caring doctors and nurses, and feel I have made some new friends.  But I am especially looking forward to seeing my home decorated for Christmas and spending the holidays with members of my family.”

Mr. Graham’s staff confirmed he will continue with physical therapy at home, with the goal of returning to normal activities in the coming weeks.  This includes resuming his next writing project, summarizing the message he has proclaimed for more than 60 years, incorporating thoughts and discussions on that topic that occurred during his hospitalization.

“We are gratified that he has had a good response to treatment and we’re committed to good home care to continue his improvement,” said Mr. Graham’s personal physician, Lucian Rice, MD.

December 5, 2011

Billy Graham slept well after a busy Sunday visiting with family and friends. His children Franklin Graham, Gigi Graham and Anne Graham Lotz were among the visitors.

Mr. Graham also watched his pastor, Dr. Don Wilton, deliver his regular Sunday sermon on television.

“Doctors are encouraged by Mr. Graham’s significant clinical progress, but have not yet set a date for discharge,” hospital spokeswoman Merrell Gregory said in a statement.

She also reported progress in Graham’s physical therapy, saying he is “walking more in the private corridor outside his room.”

December 3, 2011

Mr. Graham’s nurses report he had a restful night and slept well.  Doctors report he was able to stand yesterday during a physical therapy session.

December 2, 2011

“Billy Graham has made good clinical progress in combating pneumonia and he looks better,” said his pulmonologist, Mark Hellreich, M.D.

Physical therapists have had Mr. Graham up and walking around today and he is doing well. He took his meals sitting in a chair by his bed, while continuing to engage in conversation with hospital staff.

Mr. Graham is alert and in positive spirits.  No date has been set for his discharge.

December 1, 2011

According to his spokesperson A. Larry Ross, Billy Graham remains in good spirits today after a restful night at Mission Hospital.

The 93-year-old evangelist was admitted Wednesday for evaluation of his lungs, which has now been diagnosed as pneumonia. “He is responding well to antibiotic treatment and is in stable condition,” said the pulmonologist treating Mr. Graham, Mark Hellreich, M.D.

Mr. Graham was encouraged Thursday by a visit from his pastor, Dr. Don Wilton of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., who shared a passage from the book of Ephesians: “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16).

“Given the outpouring of love and well wishes Mr. Graham has received from people around the world,” said Ross, “the verse seemed to have special meaning to him.”

Mr. Graham heard about the prayers and get well wishes from his daughter, Gigi, who visited Wednesday evening, said Ross. The two spent time reading the Bible and praying together. Then, as they turned channels to find a news broadcast, they happened to see a Billy Graham Classic Special on TBN, televising Mr. Graham’s 1973 Crusade in St. Louis.

“It was a blessing to Mr. Graham to realize his preaching still reaches around the world,” said Ross, “and even into hospital rooms like his own.”

Mr. Graham has been greeting hospital staff with interest and engaging them in questions about themselves.

November 30, 2011

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, MD, 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 holiday with his family.