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Evangelist Graham briefly hospitalized after a fall

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Evangelist Billy Graham was released from the hospital Saturday, sore and bruised but not seriously injured, after he tripped and fell over one of his dogs at his North Carolina home, hospital officials said.

Graham, 89, stayed overnight at Mission Hospital in Asheville with discomfort and bruising. X-rays showed no broken bones, the hospital said.

For six decades, Graham led a worldwide crusade-based ministry that packed stadiums with believers and allowed him to counsel every U.S. president since Harry Truman.

The Southern Baptist minister fell late Friday at his home in Montreat, N.C.

The accident happened when Graham bent over to pet Sam, his golden retriever, and the dog got under his feet, Graham spokesman Larry Ross said.

"He's a loyal dog. He follows Mr. Graham wherever he goes," Ross said. The dog was a gift two years ago from friends of one of Graham's children.

The hospital offered to let Graham go home after the X-rays, but he decided to stay overnight because it was so late, Ross said. "He had a good night's rest. Nurses said he was able to sleep. He was sitting in a chair eating full meals this morning."

Earlier this year, Graham had elective surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid on his brain. The shunt was first installed in 2000 and drains fluid through a small tube, relieving excess pressure that can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.

Graham has also had prostate cancer and macular degeneration. He was hospitalized last year for nearly two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding.

Graham turns 90 on Nov. 7.

Evangelist Graham briefly hospitalized after a fall 10/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:31pm]
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