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OPINION

Billy Graham in hospital with pneumonia

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Updated with new information at 5:14 Eastern

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)--Evangelist Billy Graham was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning, has pneumonia and is listed in fair condition, according to a hospital press release.

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Graham, 92, "had a comfortable night and was able to sleep well," his nurses reported Thursday, according to the statement from Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., which is near his Montreat, N.C. home.

Later Wednesday, the hospital released another statement, saying Graham's temperature remains normal and his "congestion is clearing in response to antibiotic treatment."

"Mr. Graham remains in good spirits and continues to make progress during his stay," the afternoon statement read. "He resumed a normal routine today, getting up for all of his meals, and completing a light therapy program."

Graham's doctor, Shaw C. Henderson, confirmed that the evangelist does have pneumonia, which the initial tests Wednesday indicated. No discharge date has been set.

"During his stay, Mr. Graham has engaged in watching television and joking with hospital staff," a hospital statement read.

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His oldest daughter, Gigi, visited him Wednesday night, and his pastor -- Don Wilton of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C. -- visited him Thursday morning.

Graham's organization released a statement Wednesday, quoting him as saying, "I am doing better with each passing hour, and I am grateful for your concern, and send in return my appreciation and love for you all."

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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