"President and Mrs. Carter thank everyone for the many well-wishes they have received," his office said

By Adam Carlson
November 12, 2019 10:27 AM
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Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former president, was recovering and remained hospitalized Tuesday after surgery that morning “to relieve pressure on his brain” following bleeding caused by a series of falls, his office said.

“There are no complications from the surgery. President Carter will remain in the hospital as long as advisable for observation,” The Carter Center, his humanitarian organization, announced Tuesday. “We do not anticipate any further statements until he is released from the hospital.”

“President and Mrs. Carter thank everyone for the many well-wishes they have received,” the center said.

Carter, who turned 95 last month, was admitted to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital on Monday night. The Carter Center said the pressure in his brain was due to bleeding from “his recent falls.”

He fell twice in October: once requiring stitches (and receiving a nasty black eye) and another time fracturing his pelvis in what his office said at the time was a “minor injury.”

Carter fell earlier this year, in May, and needed surgery to fix a broken hip.

He survived a bout with cancer in 2015, though he found then that he was “completely at ease” with dying, he has said.

Jimmy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter in September 2018
| Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty
Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter
From left: former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in September 2018
| Credit: John Amis/AP/Shutterstock

Not only the oldest living president but also the one who has lived longest since leaving office, as well one half of the longest marriage between first spouses, with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, he has remained remarkably physically active even at what he described as a “decrepit” age.

“It’s hard to live until you’re 95 years old,” he told PEOPLE last month at his annual Habitat for Humanity volunteer project with Mrs. Carter. “I think the best explanation for that is to marry the best spouse: someone who will take care of you and engage and do things to challenge you and keep you alive and interested in life.”

“Now when we have a quiet moment, like a birthday or something, we like to stay at home, just by ourselves, and enjoy a quiet day in our own house without any visitors and with minimum phone calls and emails coming in,” he said at the time.

Hours after his first fall in October, he and Mrs. Carter traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, for their Habitat project.

“One of the things Jesus taught was: If you have any talents, try to utilize them for the benefit of others,” President Carter said. “That’s what Rosa and I have both tried to do.”

Next year, they plan to go to the Dominican Republic.

“I think both mine and Rosa’s minds are almost as good as they used to be, we just have limited capability on stamina and strength,” he told PEOPLE. “But we still try to stay busy and do a good job at what we do.”