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Associated Press – February 14, 2008
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Evangelist Billy Graham was recovering Thursday from a surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid in his brain, a family spokesman said.
The 89-year-old Southern Baptist minister was expected to spend some of the day walking the halls of Asheville’s Mission Hospital and to return to his usual diet later Thursday, said Graham spokesman Larry Ross.
“He rested well overnight and is in high spirits,” Ross said.
Graham underwent the elective surgery Wednesday to replace a shunt first installed in 2000. The shunt drains fluid from his brain through a small tube that runs down his head and neck and into the abdominal cavity, where the fluid is absorbed by his body.
Doctors determined the old shunt was not adequately controlling the brain fluid. A buildup of fluid, known as hydrocephalus, can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
Graham has also suffered from prostate cancer and macular degeneration. He was hospitalized last year for nearly two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding.
Those conditions, combined with his age, have left Graham mostly confined to his mountainside home in Montreat for the past several years.
The charismatic minister once led a worldwide crusade-based ministry that packed stadiums with believers and put him on the pulpit in front of millions. He also gained the confidence of every U.S. president since Harry Truman.
Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June following a lengthy illness.
On the Net:
http://www.billygraham.org
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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