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Franklin Graham has surgery for life-threatening heart condition

Franklin Graham expects to make a full recovery from specialized heart surgery this week at the Mayo Clinic.

Graham, 69, had developed pericarditis, which involves swelling and irritation of the thin, saclike tissue surrounding the heart. Although pericarditis is typically mild and goes away, surgery is required in rare cases. Graham’s condition was life-threatening so emergency surgery was performed.

“I had developed constrictive pericarditis, which is inflammation and hardening of the sac around the heart that compresses the heart and prevents it from working properly,” Graham wrote on Facebook. “The surgery involved removing the pericardium, and we thank God that it went well. The team here at Mayo Clinic does such an incredible job — I couldn’t speak more highly of them. My doctors said I should expect a full recovery and will be able to return to my normal ministry schedule.”

READ: Franklin Graham and daughter video series from Israel

Graham is scheduled to preach next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (June 11), St. Petersburg, Russia (July 9-10), Milan, Italy (Oct. 29) and New Zealand (November). His ministry events are called Festivals.

“I look 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,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to being able to ride my motorcycle by the time warm weather hits! I appreciate everyone’s prayers.”

According to the Mayo Clinic website, pericarditis often causes “sharp chest pain and sometimes other symptoms. The chest pain occurs when the irritated layers of the pericardium rub against each other. Pericarditis is usually mild and goes away without treatment. Treatment for more-severe cases may include medications and, rarely, surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment may help reduce the risk of long-term complications from pericarditis.”

Graham is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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