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Rev. Billy Graham released from NC hospital

ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham was released from an Asheville hospital Tuesday after spending six days recovering from pneumonia, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Doctors decided to let the 93-year-old evangelist go home after he responded well to antibiotics and physical therapy to increase his strength after his latest illness, said Nancy Lindell, a spokeswoman for Mission Hospital.

Graham said he was grateful for the thoughts and prayers from around the world, according to a statement released by the

“I also appreciated the wonderful treatment I received here from such caring doctors and nurses, and feel I have made some new friends,” Graham said. “But I am especially looking forward to seeing my home decorated for Christmas and spending the holidays with members of my family.”

Graham was admitted to the hospital Nov. 30 after suffering from congestion, a cough and slight fever. He was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Doctors used the six-day hospital stay to conduct some routine tests on Graham that he had already scheduled. They sent him home with orders to continue his therapy to increase his strength and mobility, according to the hospital.

“We are gratified that he has had a good response to treatment and we’re committed to good home care to continue his improvement,” said Dr. Lucian Rice, Graham’s personal physician.

Graham plans to continue writing his next book, which he said will summarize his six decades of work. Graham has led a worldwide ministry that packed stadiums with believers and has counseled every US president since Harry Truman.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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