Billy Graham Recovering from Surgeries, Preparing for Fall Crusades

The BGEA announced that evangelist Billy Graham is recovering well from recent hip and pelvic surgeries, and is preparing for the meetings in Kansas City and Los Angeles
( [email protected] ) Sep 25, 2004 12:16 PM EDT

Rev. Billy Graham confirmed his plans to preach at consecutive crusades in Kansas City in October and Los Angeles in November, the Bill Graham Evangelistic Association announced Thursday. Doctors reported the evangelist is progressing well—nearly one month ahead of schedule – and has recovered rapidly in the last few weeks from two serious falls that resulted in surgeries performed earlier this year—a hip replacement procedure and a pelvic fracture repair.

“I feel better than I expected to at this point and I am thankful that God has strengthened me for continued ministry,” Graham said. “I appreciate everyone’s prayers on my behalf and I look forward once again to bringing a message of God’s love and forgiveness to the people of Kansas City and Los Angeles.”

Graham was admitted to Mission Hospitals in Asheville, N.C., for evaluation and treatment of injuries from a fall he suffered May 14 while he was home recovering from a partial hip replacement performed in January. His orthopedic surgeon stated that preliminary tests indicated a possible hairline fracture to the pelvis but further CT studies on May 17 confirmed Graham sustained a fracture of the pelvis and indicated it was more significant than originally suspected.

After having undergone a minimally invasive procedure May 20 to stabilize a pelvic fracture he sustained, Graham was released June 7 from Mission Hospitals. Graham’s physicians said they were greatly encouraged by his progress.

For the following three months, Graham continued intensive physical therapy at home. During his recovery at home, Graham and his wife, Ruth, endured two major storms and flooding from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan resulting in minor damage to their home and loss of power for several days. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who continue to recover from these devastating storms, and especially with those who have lost loved ones,” he said.

Graham also saw his longtime friend President Ronald Reagan laid to rest and was grateful that the nation had such an opportunity to mourn the passing of one of its greatest leaders.

“Mr. Reagan had a religious faith deeper than most people knew,” said Graham after the passing of former President Ronald Reagan.

“The President was a man of tremendous integrity, based on his religious belief. I visited him and Nancy on numerous occasions in recent years and always had prayer with them. Though [he] was unable to communicate at times, Nancy would say, ‘When you prayed, I think he knew you were here,’” Graham said.

While at home, Graham also expressed concern about the tone and rhetoric of the current political campaign and said that he has been disturbed by some of the false reports about the Bush family. “I have known all of the Bush family for many years—the president’s grandfather and grandmother were personal friends of mine,” he said. “I have also considered the president’s father one of my closest friends for many years.

“Ruth and I have taken many vacations with the senior Bushes and have been treated as members of their family,” he continued. “They are a remarkable family with the highest moral values which I know are based on their religious faith.”

As for now, the BGEA reported that Graham will soon travel to Kansas City for the Heart of America Billy Graham Crusade to be held at Arrowhead Stadium Oct. 7-10 and then on to Los Angeles for the Greater Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Nov. 18-21.

Prior to Graham’s injury, the Greater Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade was scheduled for July 29 to August 1 while the Heart of America Crusade was scheduled for June 17-20.