Former President Jimmy Carter with Karin Ryan, the Carter Center’s senior policy adviser for human rights, at this month’s 12th Human Rights Defenders Forum at the Carter Center on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Carter has been walking with a cane since breaking his hip in May. On Monday, he fell and fractured his pelvis. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Pelvic fracture lands Jimmy Carter in the hospital

Jimmy Carter has never mastered the art of slowing down.

Even at the risk of his health.

The former president, who seems more comfortable working a farm or fishing than he is sitting in an office, fell and suffered what a spokeswoman described as a “minor pelvic fracture” Monday night. It was his third fall since May, when he broke his hip, and his second in less than a month, according to the Carter Center.

“He is in good spirits and is looking forward to recovering at home,” tweeted Carter Center spokeswoman Deanna Congileo at 7:14 a.m. Tuesday.

She offered no other details.

The 95-year-old was admitted to the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus for observation. The regular Sunday school class that he teaches at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains has been canceled this weekend.

At the Democratic Party of Georgia’s annual fundraising dinner on Tuesday, the crowd of hundreds held a moment of silence for the former president. State Sen. Nikema Williams, the party chairwoman, noted that she named her son Carter after the Georgia Democrat.

“He is very special to me and my family, and we wish him a speedy recovery and I know that all of the Democrats in this room and across the country know he is the epitome of what we need to be looking to for leadership.”

Bobby Salter, who runs Bobby Salter’s Plain Peanuts, told WSB-TV that, while he was sad to hear that his old friend was in the hospital, he isn’t worried.

“I have not heard from the family how he’s doing,” said Salter, whose business has a giantHOME OF JIMMY CARTER” sign in front of it. “I feel like he’s doing pretty good because I haven’t heard anything. But it’s just one of them things I reckon you have to go through when you start getting a little old.”

Carter has been using a cane to get around since breaking his hip this spring.

With his wife constantly at his side, the last 12 months have been eventful for Carter.

In March, he passed George H.W. Bush to become the oldest living former president.

On Oct. 1, he became the first former president to reach the age of 95. And on Oct. 17, he and Rosalynn Carter, 92, became the longest-married presidential couple.

Many have marveled at the 39th president’s energy.

He was on his way to a turkey hunt when he fell and broke his hip, requiring surgery.

Earlier this month, hours before boarding a plane for Nashville to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, he fell and cut his head. He suffered a black eye and had to get 14 stitches.

He made it to an evening concert in Tennessee to rally volunteers ahead of his 36th home building project for Habitat for Humanity and returned to teaching Sunday school at his Plains church two weeks after his hip surgery.

Quick recoveries seem to be a pattern. In December 2015, just months after he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma that had spread to his brain, Carter announced that he has beaten it.

In the days before his latest birthday, Carter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has been going through strenuous physical therapy to recover from hip surgery, but admitted that he had “limited endurance.”

Last month, to kick off the Carter Center’s Carter Conversation series, the former president hinted at the fact that he was going to slow down his work at his namesake institution, which is already being run by a team of leaders, including his grandson, Jason Carter.

He also told that crowd that his speech that evening could be the last time his remarks kicked off the lecture series.

Jason Carter said at the time that his grandparents had already “pulled back a lot” on their Carter Center obligations. Three weeks later, the former president was back at the Carter Center hosting a forum on human rights.

“I have been blessed with good health, and I have been blessed with adequate vigor and a good mind,” Carter said then. “I would say that, except for my physical limitations, I don’t see any real differences in my older years than I did earlier.”

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Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report.

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