Evangelist Billy Graham improving at NC hospital

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. —

The Rev. Billy Graham is recovering from bronchitis in an Asheville hospital.

Family members said his condition is improving and they are grateful for all the support and prayers.

They said Monday that they expect him to return home in the next couple of days.

At the Billy Graham Library, visitors were concerned about his health.

Dennie and America Fordham, who drove up from Florida on Sunday to see the library on Monday, were surprised to hear about his sudden illness.

"We pray for the best for him and his family," Dennie Fordham said.

Graham, who is 93, was admitted to the hospital overnight Saturday after developing a cough and fever.

He was hospitalized twice last year for pneumonia, and family members said doctors didn't want to take any chances this time.

His daughter, Gigi Graham, has been by his side in the hospital and told Eyewitness News that he's been improving.

"We're feeling good about it," she said. "We really are. We feel it's under control and as I said, he has the sweetest, most wonderful care."

Graham said her father's fever is gone and the antibiotics seem to be helping with the bronchial infection. He's also been using what she describes as a vibrating vest to clear up congestion in his lungs.

She said family members held a couple of prayer times with him on Sunday.

Graham's niece, Cathie Bowers, visited him last Wednesday with her husband and didn't see any symptoms then.

"None whatsoever," she said. "We were very surprised."

She is certain his positive attitude will help him recover quickly.

"He's in great spirits," she said. "He really is. That's important."

Graham is eager to get back to writing his latest book, which is expected to be released next year. Bowers said he told her he already has plans for another book after that.