Relaymedia

Graham Returns Home after Hospital Stint

( [email protected] ) Aug 31, 2007 11:49 AM EDT

Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his home on Thursday after being hospitalized for nearly two weeks for intestinal bleeding.

Graham's personal physician, Dr. Lucian Rice, said he believes the evangelist will have a "very good recovery" as he continues to receive therapy from his mountain home in Montreat, N.C.

"We have been pleased that he has been able to come back from this incident as well as he has," said Rice, according to The Associated Press.

The 88-year-old evangelist was admitted to Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville, N.C., on Aug. 18 after experiencing intestinal bleeding. A colonoscopy a few days later identified the source of the bleeding as an arteriovenous malformation – a tangle of small blood vessels in the lining of the colon – and the site was successfully treated with cauterization.

Graham had daily physical therapy at the hospital and often stopped to talk with hospital staff members and other patients and their families in nearby rooms.

"I am grateful for the wonderful care that I have received at Mission Hospitals,” Graham told his staff upon discharge, according to AP. “I have been a patient at many hospitals and I have never had better care anywhere in the world. I am amazed at the staff’s efficiency and compassion. I actually don’t want to leave. But as I do, I want to also express my appreciation for the support and prayers of so many people for me during this time.”

According to Graham's spokesman, Larry Ross, the evangelist was in good spirits as he left the hospital and was eager to resume hosting family and close friends at his home.

Graham may also write another book, said Ross, but the priority is for him to regain his strength.

"He has been adjusting to life without his wife and ministry partner of nearly 64 years," the spokesman added.

Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June at the age of 87.