Former President Jimmy Carter will receive hospice care at home instead of treatment at the hospital, according to a social media message from The Carter Center.
The Center, a charity created by Carter, said Saturday that the former president had experienced a series of short hospital stays before deciding to “spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.”
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Carter, a Democrat, became the 39th U.S. president when he defeated former President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. He served a single term and was defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980.
The social media post did not indicate what the 98-year-old was being treated for.
https://t.co/1auzIG0yqy pic.twitter.com/JJQMWgg8DW— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) February 18, 2023
In August 2015, Carter had a small cancerous mass removed from his liver. The following year, Carter announced that he needed no further treatment, as an experimental drug had eliminated any sign of cancer.
Carter celebrated his most recent birthday in October with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, Rosalynn, were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression.
Known for his Christian faith, Carter continued teaching Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains well into his 90s.
New4Jax’s very own anchor Mary Baer visited Carter’s church in 2018 and called it a “beautiful experience.”
“We decided to go up there and see a president preach. I mean, how often do you get to do that? I remember being struck by the fact that it’s this tiny little church. It’s his personal Baptist church, but his family’s church that they went to,” Baer said.
The Carter Center, which the 39th president and the former first lady established after their one White House term, last year marked 40 years of promoting democracy and conflict resolution, monitoring elections, and advancing public health in the developing world.
News4JAX political analyst Rick Mullaney said despite serving only one term as president, Carter has transformed his legacy into one of public service since leaving office.
“More than four decades, really considered by many the most successful ex-president in terms of his humanitarian effort,” Mullaney said. “Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Global efforts in peace initiatives with Habitat for Humanity and publishing more than 30 books.”
James Earl Carter Jr. won the 1976 presidential election after beginning the campaign as a little-known, one-term Georgia governor. His surprise performance in the Iowa caucuses established the small, Midwestern state as an epicenter of presidential politics. Carter went on to defeat Ford in the general election, largely on the strength of sweeping the South before his native region shifted heavily to Republicans.
Carter received a lot of honors for his humanitarian work including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
Mike Hightower, who remembered Carter as an “incredible but disciplined coach and mentor,” worked in the Carter administration and said he was not surprised to hear that the former president dedicated his life to humanitarian work after serving one term.
“He was one of the most extraordinary spiritual men I’ve ever known. He and Rosalynn [Carter’s wife] were extraordinarily faithful. And at 91 battling cancer, [he] was building houses for humanity,” Hightower said.