Billy Graham was released Saturday afternoon from an Asheville hospital, where he'd been taken for observation Friday night after tripping over one of his three dogs at his Montreat home.
X-rays turned up no broken bones, a spokeswoman for Mission Hospital said in a news release, though the Charlotte-born evangelist, who turns 90 next month, did experience some discomfort.
His personal physician, Dr. Lucian Rice, said the fall should pose no setback for Graham and expected him to fully recover.
“Of course we worry any time a patient takes a fall, especially an older patient,” Rice said in a statement. “But while Mr. Graham is somewhat bruised, with some extremely sore muscles, he seems to have suffered no serious injuries, and in fact he was able to work on his physical therapy regimen first thing the next morning. I am encouraging him to remain as active as possible, but to be mindful of his dog, who likes to keep faithfully at his feet.”
Graham spokesman Larry Ross said the fall involved a “big, gangly” golden retriever named Sam.
“A very loyal dog, a constant companion (who) follows him everywhere throughout the house,” Ross said. “Late (Friday), as he was crossing his bedroom and bent to pet Sam, the dog got under foot, causing him to fall.”
This is Graham's second hospitalization this year and his third since 2007, when he stayed at Mission Hospital for almost two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding.
In February of this year, he had elective surgery at the hospital to install an updated shunt designed to maintain normal pressure in his head. The shunt drains fluid from his brain through a small tube. That relieves excess pressure that can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
Ross said Graham also continues to be treated for macular degeneration, which affects vision. He also has trouble hearing and is frail, according to family and friends.
But, said Ross, the world-famous preacher is still mentally alert.
“A few weeks ago, I visited, and he was upbeat, in good spirits and engaged,” Ross said.
But family and friends said he continues to grieve for his wife, Ruth. She died in June 2007 after a long illness.
Ross said Graham, the author of many books, has another book project “on the horizon” and maintains a “keen interest” in the doings and message of the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, now headed by his son Franklin.
Plans call for a private celebration with his family on Nov. 7, his 90th birthday.