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Billy Graham 'stable' with lung inflammation

December 4, 1997
Web posted at: 10:03 a.m. EST (1503 GMT)

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) -- The Rev. Billy Graham, hospitalized with an inflamed lung, was reported in stable condition and resting comfortably on Thursday.

The 79-year-old world-famous evangelist was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville on Wednesday after developing a fever and chills.

He is being treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids for pneumonitis, or inflammation of the lung, a hospital spokeswoman said. Officials said they expected Graham to remain at the hospital for three days.

William Franklin Graham says he expects his father home by the weekend
icon 204K/17 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Graham first became ill last week while vacationing in the Caribbean and was brought to Jacksonville because St. Luke's was the closest affiliate of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he has been a longtime patient.

Graham has Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological condition. He delegates many responsibilities to his son, William Franklin Graham III, but still heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Despite his health troubles, Graham is scheduled to preach at several evangelistic crusades next year. He has ministered since the 1940s, conducting crusades in dozens of countries.

Graham, who has been a friend of U.S. presidents dating back to Harry Truman, made several public appearances last month, meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Los Angeles and attending the dedication of George Bush's presidential library in Texas.


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