Former President Jimmy Carter, the longest-living ex-president in U.S. history, who just turned 95-years-old last week, injured himself after suffering a fall in his Georgia home Sunday morning.
Despite receiving a black, swollen eye and needing stitches to close the wound on his head, Carter nonetheless stuck with his plans and attended the launch of a Habitat for Humanity home build project in Nashville, Tennessee later in the evening.
Reuters reported that staffers for Carter said the elderly ex-president “feels fine” after receiving treatment at a hospital near his home in Plains, Georgia on Sunday.
“He said he feels fine and wanted everyone to know that he and Mrs. Carter are eager to be at a Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Nashville, Tennessee,” spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said in a statement provided to media.
Supporting Habitat for Humanity home builds has been one of Carter’s top priorities since he was voted out of office in 1980 following a single term in the White House, which had come on the heels of his service as governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975.
Black eye and 14 stitches
As it turns out, Carter did indeed keep his word about appearing at the launch of the home build project in Nashville, as he and former first lady Rosalynn Carter came out on stage and spoke brief words of encouragement to the volunteers who were preparing to start work on the project Monday morning.
“Well, first of all, I want to explain my black eye,” Carter said as he took the stage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Sunday night.
“I fell down and hit my forehead on a sharp edge and had to go to the hospital. And they took 14 stitches in my forehead and my eye is black, as you’ve noticed. But I had a number one priority and that was to come to Nashville and build houses,” he added, before noting that both he and Rosalynn would work a “limited schedule” during the week-long project that aimed to build 21 new affordable homes.
The Carters were escorted on stage and introduced by two hugely popular country music stars in Nashville who were also volunteering for the project, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Carter explained that the “limited schedule” for himself and the former first lady would keep them largely confined to putting finishing touches on the front porch of each home built, and according to videos posted to social media Monday morning, that is exactly what they did.
Given Carter’s advanced age and mounting health issues — he broke his hip in a fall in May and has trouble walking even with a cane — it is incredible that he still manages to not only attend but also participate in the charitable home build projects that he has championed throughout his post-presidency years, and we can only wish him well as he continues to do so for whatever time he has remaining.