Jimmy Carter in home hospice care

(NewsNation) — Former President Jimmy Carter is receiving hospice care at his home after a series of hospitalizations.

The Carter Center, a charity the 98-year-old founded, put out a statement Saturday saying Carter “decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.”

“He has the full support of his family and his medical team,” the statement said.

In the recent past, Carter dealt with a bout of skin cancer that spread to his internal organs. It had also been reported that he was hospitalized a number of times for falls over the last few years.

Carter was a little-known Georgia governor when he began his bid for the presidency ahead of the 1976 election. He went on to defeat then-President Gerald R. Ford, capitalizing as a Washington outsider in the wake of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office in 1974.

Carter served a single, tumultuous term and was defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980 in a landslide loss.

During his presidency, Carter faced his share of challenges.

Inflation dogged the nation. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, held back supply, which led to record gas prices and long lines for gas domestically.

On an international level, Carter was instrumental in negotiating the Camp David Accords, a peace deal that established relations between Israel and Egypt that largely still exist today.

Perhaps his most memorable challenge, however, came during the 1979 Iranian revolution — a fundamental misunderstanding by U.S. intelligence of what was happening on the ground. It culminated with American hostages being taken by Iranian revolutionaries. Ultimately, the hostages were released on the last day of Carter’s presidency.

The election loss that ended his presidency ultimately paved the way for Carter’s decades of global advocacy for democracy, public health and human rights via the Carter Center.

Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, 95, opened the center in 1982. His work there garnered a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Jason Carter, the couple’s grandson who now chairs the Carter Center governing board, said Saturday in a tweet that he “saw both of my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and — as always — their home is full of love.”

Carter, who has lived most of his life in Plains, traveled extensively into his 80s and early 90s, including annual trips to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and frequent trips abroad as part of the Carter Center’s election monitoring and its effort to eradicate the Guinea worm parasite in developing countries.

On the diplomacy front, he has been one of the most high-profile, unofficial U.S. ambassadors, often stepping in and helping to negotiate and mitigate international crises between the U.S. and some foreign adversaries, such as North Korea and Libya.

But the former president’s health has declined over his 10th decade of life, especially as the coronavirus pandemic limited his public appearances, including at his beloved Maranatha Baptist Church where he taught Sunday School lessons for decades before standing-room-only crowds of visitors.

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 town where he and Rosalynn were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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