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Former President Jimmy Carter recovers from surgery to relieve pressure in brain

Jimmy Carter undergoing brain procedure

Former President Jimmy Carter is recovering from surgery Tuesday morning to relieve pressure on his brain caused by a subdural hematoma, the Carter Center said in a statement. The Center said there were "no complications from the surgery," and that Mr. Carter is expected to remain at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta "as long as advisable for observation." 

Mr. Carter was hospitalized Monday night for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding, The Carter Center said in a Monday statement. The bleeding was caused by Mr. Carter's recent falls, the statement explained.

"President Carter is resting comfortably, and his wife, Rosalynn, is with him," according to the statement

CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said that the procedure is normally quick. "Basically, they're just drilling a small hole in the brain and draining the fluid that is causing the pressure," Agus told CBSN. "So the procedure itself — you could be in the operating room, say, an hour."

Mr. Carter, who is 95, has had a number of health scares in recent years. In 2015, he announced he had been diagnosed with cancer that had spread to his liver and brain. He stepped back from responsibility at The Carter Center, but he continued teaching Sunday school classes in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. It's a tradition he started in his teens that has gained a wide following.

But just six months later, he was treated with a new immunotherapy drug and quickly recovered, announcing an MRI showed no signs of cancer and he didn't need any additional treatment.

In May 2019, he suffered another health setback when he fell and broke his hip. Mr. Carter fell twice more in October 2019, and was hospitalized for a fractured pelvis

Carter's first October fall left him with a black eye and 14 stitches — but he nevertheless attended the opening ceremony for a Habitat for Humanity build in Nashville along with Rosalynn, who is 92. Less than two weeks after his second fall, he said he planned to return to teaching Sunday school. 

In the Sunday school service that followed, Mr. Carter told attendees he's "at ease with death." 

After learning about his cancer in 2015, he said at the service, he "assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly."

"I, obviously, prayed about it. I didn't ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn't really matter to me whether I died or lived," Mr. Carter said. "I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death. So, I'm going to live again after I die — Don't know what form I'll take, or anything."

This spring, Mr. Carter surpassed George H.W. Bush as the longest-lived U.S. president in history. The Carters recently became the longest married presidential couple, surpassing George and Barbara Bush, with more than 73 years of marriage.

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