Jimmy Carter on wife Rosalynn’s surgery: “I was deathly afraid.”

Jimmy Carter said Monday he was “deathly afraid” during what he described as the “very serious” operation his wife underwent this past weekend.

Rosalynn Carter, 90, had surgery to remove “troubling scar tissue” from a portion of her small intestine, according to a statement the Carter Center released Sunday. On Monday, her husband of 71 years described in greater detail the condition that resulted from what he said was a tumor removal she underwent half a century ago.

<p>Rosalynn Carter recovering from surgery in Atlanta</p>

“For the last 25 years, she has had trouble with her intestines and bowels,” Jimmy Carter, 93, told several hundred people attending a free Presidents Day event at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains. “Saturday night they operated and found the scar tissue from the old operation about fifty years ago had strangled almost two feet of her small intestine.”

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter talk things over at the house site they’re working on at a Habitat for Humanity build in Memphis last year. Photo: courtesy Habitat for Humanity.

The surgery went well,  but the former president endured some rocky hours along the way himself.

Doctors “didn’t give me a lot of hope before the operation was over,” Carter said. “I was deathly afraid. I prayed for three hours.

“Finally, the doctor came in about 5 o’clock on Sunday morning and told me she was gonna be OK,” Carter concluded as the crowd burst into applause.

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