Pneumonia Fells Falwell a 2nd Time
The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, battling his second case of viral pneumonia in five weeks, hospital and church officials said.
Falwell, 71, was admitted to Lynchburg General Hospital shortly before midnight Monday suffering from “respiratory arrest,” the hospital said in a statement, meaning his breathing had slowed or stopped.
“His cardiac status is stable and there is no evidence of a heart attack,” said hospital spokesman Tom Urtz, reading from a statement. “He is alert and responding to questions. Rev. Falwell is clinically stable, but is still critically ill.”
Ron Godwin, Falwell’s executive assistant, said the preacher was “on a respirator and he’s resting comfortably.”
Doctors said they expected to have a clearer prognosis today.
Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University, had left the hospital March 4 after 13 days, spending part of the time on a ventilator.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Falwell said he was feeling much better but still recovering from his hospital stay.
Falwell had been in the pulpit Easter Sunday at Thomas Road Baptist Church and seemed in good health, said the Rev. Dave Randlett, an associate pastor.
“He always looks ‘up’ so you wouldn’t know if he wasn’t” feeling well, Randlett said. “He was very optimistic.”