Jimmy Carter: Former president ‘doing OK’ but ‘at the end,’ grandson says in health update

Jimmy Carter

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter, who has been in hospice care for more than a year, is “still in the same situation he’s been in the last year,” his grandson said Tuesday in a brief update about the 99-year-old’s health.

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Carter, the nation’s 39th president and the nation’s oldest living chief executive in U.S. history, turns 100 on Oct. 1. Jason Carter, his oldest grandson, spoke about the former president during the 28th Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum held at the Carter Center in Atlanta, WSB-TV reported.

“(My grandfather) is doing OK,” Jason Carter said at the forum, according to the television station, USA Today and CNN. “He has been in hospice, as you know, for almost a year and a half now, and he really is, I think, at the end that, as I’ve said before, there’s a part of this faith journey that is so important to him, and there’s a part of that faith journey that you only can live at the very end and I think he has been there in that space.”

Jimmy Carter began receiving at-home hospice care on Feb 18, 2023, WSB-TV reported.

He served as president from January 1977 to January 1981. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts,” according to the Nobel Foundation. He brokered the Camp David Accords in 1978 with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a highlight of his presidential legacy.

Over his lifetime, Carter wrote more than two dozen books and won three Grammy awards for audio productions of his work.

Carter became the oldest living president in history after George H.W. Bush died in 2018 at the age of 94, CNN reported.

In August 2015, Carter disclosed that doctors had discovered four melanoma lesions on his brain. Four months later, he had announced that doctors had found no signs of the cancer spots that led to his diagnoses. By March 2016, his doctors had determined he no longer needed treatment.

Carter also had brain surgery after falling in 2019, CNN reported.

Since being in hospice care, he has rarely ventured from his home in Plains, Georgia. He did make a rare public appearance to attend his wife’s memorial service after the former first lady’s death at the age of 96 on Nov. 19, 2023. The couple had been married for 77 years.

“My grandmother’s passing was a difficult moment for all of us, including my grandfather,” Jason Carter said on Tuesday. “(But) the outpouring of love and support that we, as a family, received from people in this room and from the rest of the world was so remarkable and meaningful to us. And it really turned that whole process into a celebration.”

During the speech, Jason Carter recalled a conversation he had with his grandfather while they watched an Atlanta Braves baseball game, CNN reported.

“I said, ‘Pa Pa … people ask me how you’re doing and I say I don’t know.’ And he said, ‘Well, I don’t know myself.’ And so, he’s still there,” Jason Carter laughed.

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