“I had a No. 1 priority and that was to come to Nashville to build houses!” he said on Sunday
With drill in hand, the former president helped build houses in Nashville early Monday, just one day after he fell at his home in Plains, Georgia.
Despite the incident Sunday, which “required stitches above his brow,” Carter, who turned 95 on Oct. 1, and wife Rosalynn were continuing to participate in their annual work project with Habitat for Humanity.
President Carter helped glue, drill and nail pieces of wood to build corbels as part of a project that will build 21 new homes in Nashville’s Park Preserve neighborhood from Monday to Friday, Habitat for Humanity has said.
Before beginning construction, Carter spoke with the large crowd of volunteers at the building site for a time of worship, sharing stories of Jesus and how every person has the ability to be “be a complete success in the eyes of God.”
Sharing the stage with Carter, according to the Associated Press, was his wife, musicians Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Eric Paslay along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Lee’s wife, Maria.
Carter made his initial appearance in Nashville on Sunday evening, just hours after his fall and treatment.
During the opening building project rally, he addressed the tumble and his newly-bruised face but shared that nothing could keep him from making the trip to Tennessee to help build homes.
“I got up this morning … I was getting ready for church, right after that we had a family reunion and we were coming to Nashville,” he said, according to video of his remarks.
“I fell down and hit my forehead on a sharp edge and I had to go to the hospital,” Carter explained. “And they took 14 stitches in my forehead and my eye’s black, if you noticed.”
“But I had a No. 1 priority and that was to come to Nashville to build houses!” he said.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for The Carter Center said that he “feels fine and wanted everyone to know that he and Mrs. Carter are eager to be at Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Nashville, Tennessee.”
For his 95th birthday, the former commander-in-chief, who has been nicknamed the “active ex-president,” took the day off to relax by celebrating with a “quiet day at home,” according to a spokeswoman.
Though still busy, Carter has contended with health issues in recent years: In May, he broke his hip while he was on his way to go turkey hunting and sustained a fall that led to hip surgery, according to his spokeswoman.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 but was successfully treated.
At the time, Carter said his message was “one of hope and acceptance. Hope for the best, accept what comes,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He said then: “I think I have been as blessed as any human being in the world.”