Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospital for surgery

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ATLANTA (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was going into surgery Tuesday morning at Emory University Hospital to relieve pressure on his brain, his spokeswoman said.

The procedure is meant to resolve bleeding due to his recent falls, Deanna Congileo said in a statement.

Carter has fallen at least three times this year. The first incident, in the spring, required hip replacement surgery. He hit his head falling again on Oct. 6 and received 14 stitches, but still traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to help build a Habitat for Humanity home shortly thereafter. And he was briefly hospitalized after fracturing his pelvis on Oct. 21.

Carter also received a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015, announcing that melanoma had spread to his liver and brain. He was treated with radiation and immunotherapy, and later said he was cancer-free.

Nearly four decades after his presidency, and despite a body that’s failing after 95 years, the nation’s oldest-ever ex-president still teaches Sunday school roughly twice a month at Maranatha Baptist Church in his tiny hometown of Plains in southwest Georgia. His message is unfailingly about Jesus, not himself.

Rev. Tony Lowden, Carter’s pastor, said the ex-president was hospitalized Monday on what he called “a rough day.”

“We just need the whole country to be in prayer for him,” Lowden said in a telephone interview.

The church has announced that Carter will not be teaching his Sunday school class this week.

Carter is resting comfortably, and his wife, Rosalynn, is with him, Congileo said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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