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Billy Graham released from hospital after two-day stay for respiratory issue

Billy Graham headshot AP.jpg

Evangelist Billy Graham (AP)

Evangelist Billy Graham returned home Thursday after a two-day stay at Mission Hospital, in Asheville, N.C., for pulmonary-related tests and observation, a spokesperson said in a statement.

Graham was admitted after experiencing a respiratory congestion issue.

"Mr. Graham was alert and in good spirits during his stay," Dr. William R. Hathaway, Chief Medical Officer at Mission Hospital, said. "We are pleased with the results of Mr. Graham's evaluation."

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. His most recent book, "The Reason for Hope: Salvation," was released in October.

In recent years, age-related conditions, including macular degeneration and hearing loss, have kept Graham at his home in Montreat, N.C., about 20 miles east of Asheville.

Graham, who celebrated his 95th birthday on Nov. 7, was admitted to Mission Hospital last month for similar tests.

In October, Graham went in for a regularly scheduled doctor's visit but spent two nights in the hospital for pulmonary testing. He has been hospitalized for a number of health-related issues in the past few years and now uses a wheelchair.

Graham has also suffered from prostate cancer and was hospitalized in 2007 for nearly two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June 2007.

Graham rarely appears in public. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is run by Graham's son, Franklin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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