Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham underwent heart surgery Monday at the Mayo Clinic to correct an issue that had developed over the last few months, Fox News reports.
Graham, 69, had the pericardium around his heart removed after he developed constrictive pericarditis, which causes inflammation and hardening in that area of the heart.
“Franklin Graham successfully underwent a specialized heart surgery today at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,” Mark Barber, Graham’s spokesman, wrote in a statement to Fox News. “In recent months, Franklin had developed constrictive pericarditis, inflammation, and hardening of the sac around the heart that compresses the heart and prevents it from working properly.”
Franklin posted on Facebook about his surgery Tuesday morning to thank supporters for their prayers, and said he will make a full recovery.
“We thank God”
“We thank God that it went well,” Graham said of the surgery.
“The team here at Mayo Clinic does such an incredible job . . . . my doctors said I should expect a full recovery and will be able to return to my normal ministry schedule.”
Graham said he looks forward to “many opportunities around the world in 2022 to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invite people to put their faith and trust in Him.” Graham took on the mantle of his father Billy Graham, who died at age 99 in 2018.
He also said he wants to be able to ride his motorcycle again, and expects that to happen in the spring.
Graham supports Trump
Graham has been a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump since the election in 2016. He said that Trump won that election because “God showed up.”
In addition to a shoebox ministry that provides gifts to millions of underprivileged children each year around the Christmas holiday, Graham also provided a mobile hospital setup to several areas during COVID-19 to prevent local hospitals from being overwhelmed with cases.
Graham’s conservative politics and stalwart support for Trump have led to criticism and hate toward his gospel and charity ventures in recent years, but he enjoys strong support in the evangelical Christian community.