Cleveland hospital says ex-President Carter spending 2nd night there for stomach problems

By Thomas J. Sheeran, AP
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jimmy Carter spending 2nd night in Ohio hospital

CLEVELAND — Former President Jimmy Carter was spending a second night in an Ohio hospital bed as a team of doctors monitored his recovery from a viral infection they say likely gave him stomach problems.

Doctors had recommended that the 85-year-old ex-president remain at MetroHealth Medical Center for nearly 48 hours after he was rushed from an airplane to the emergency room Tuesday morning with an upset stomach.

Hospital officials said in a statement Wednesday night that the viral infection was clearing up. An update on Carter’s condition was expected Thursday morning.

“President Carter thanks all those who have expressed concern and sent greetings to him,” the statement said.

Carter became ill during a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Cleveland, causing rescue crews to rush him to the hospital after the plane landed. His medical team recommended that he stay a second night for additional monitoring, hospital spokeswoman Susan Christopher said.

The hospital stay has interrupted Carter’s tour to promote his new book, “White House Diary.”

Planned book-signings in Ohio and North Carolina were called off Tuesday. His publisher also canceled scheduled events in Washington on Wednesday, including one at the Smithsonian Institution. The status of an event planned at a Columbia, S.C., bookstore Thursday was unclear.

Carter, a former peanut farmer elected to the White House in 1976, has spent his recent years pursuing peace and human rights, efforts that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

In the new book, Carter said he pursued an overly aggressive agenda as president that may have confused voters and alienated lawmakers. But he said the tipping points that cost him the 1980 election were the Iran hostage crisis and the Democratic primary challenge by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

He is the author of more than 20 books, including the 2006 “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” about his experiences in the Middle East, and the 2005 “Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis.”

Associated Press Writer Meghan Barr contributed to this report.

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