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Updated: 6:17 p.m. Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Posted: 4:54 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The Rev. Billy Graham continues to improve at Mission Hospital in Asheville, where he's battling pneumonia.
A hospital spokesperson said late Thursday that the 92-year-old evangelist is in good spirits, joking with his doctors and seeing visitors. He's also responding well to treatment.
Almost 20 miles away in Montreat, people are praying for Graham. Kristie Jones said she begins every morning with one of Graham's Bible devotionals.
“My first thought was to pray for him," she said. "I know the lord's going to cover him."
On Thursday, Eyewitness News visited the Billy Graham training center, in a mountainous area known as "The Cove."
Billy and Ruth Graham founded a Christian radio station near Black Mountain in 1962. Today, 106.9 The Light broadcasts from the campus of the training center.
A large portrait of the couple hangs over a stone fireplace in the lobby. The whole place has the feel of a remote mountain cabin.
Director of Radio Jim Kirkland told Eyewitness News that they're getting calls and emails from listeners, wishing Graham a speedy recovery. He said it's a privilege to hear from so many people.
"Just to be able to take those prayer requests and to take that input and those well wishes and communicate those," he said.
People at the station keep a close ear to what's happening at Mission Hospital. They receive email updates throughout the day on Graham's condition. So far, the news has all been very good.
A hospital spokesperson would not give a date when Graham might be released, but did say he's showing strong signs of improvement and is even back to his daily routine of physical therapy.
Several family members visited him Thursday, along with his pastor.
In a statement, Graham expressed his gratitude to all those praying for him and his family.
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