FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2015, file photo, former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Ga. The Carter Center said, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, that the 93-year-old will begin limiting his duties at the church in the coming months. The former president remains active, but was hospitalized last year when he became dehydrated during a Habitat for Humanity project.
Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman, File
Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman, File

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.

Rosalynn Carter recovering from surgery in Atlanta

“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.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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. 

  Go to to read more about what Jimmy Carter had to say about his wife and other topics on Presidents Day in Plains

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