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Evangelist Billy Graham returns home after 6-day hospital stay

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:35 PM EST, Tue December 6, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Graham grateful for thoughts and prayers from around world, spokesman says
  • Evangelist Billy Graham is home after treatment for pneumonia
  • Graham said he is looking forward to spending Christmas at home

(CNN) -- Evangelist Billy Graham left an Asheville, North Carolina, hospital Tuesday after being treated for pneumonia.

Graham, 93, returned home after six days at Mission Hospital, the medical center said in a statement.

"We are gratified that he has had a good response to treatment and we're committed to good home care to continue his improvement," Graham's personal physician, Lucian Rice, said in the statement.

Graham's spokesman, A. Larry Ross, confirmed Graham's release on Twitter and said he appreciated the "thoughts and prayers from around the world."

Ross also said Graham made good progress during his hospitalization and will continue his therapy at home.

In the hospital's statement, Graham said he was grateful for the care and was looking forward to "seeing my home decorated for Christmas and spending the holidays with members of my family."

Graham, who lives in nearby Montreat, North Carolina, was also treated for pneumonia in May.

The Charlotte native has preached to millions of people over six decades, beginning his missionary work in 1944 when he started speaking at rallies for the Youth for Christ Campus Life ministry. He has since counseled generations of U.S. presidents, beginning with Harry Truman.

His most recent book, "Nearing Home," was published in October.

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