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Falwell still in serious condition but says he’s ‘making progress’

LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)–Jerry Falwell remained in serious but stable condition March 31 but was showing improvement and even sitting in an armchair talking to family members and grandchildren, hospital officials said in a statement.

Falwell, 71, was admitted to Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia late March 28 after having difficulty breathing. He initially was listed in critical condition but was upgraded to serious but stable condition March 30.

On March 31 Falwell said he “felt more comfortable,” the hospital said in a statement. Karl Rove, an adviser to President Bush, phoned Falwell to wish him well. Earlier in the week he took a call from Bush himself.

“I’m making progress,” Falwell said in an interview with the Lynchburg News & Advance. “I’ll be in here for a few days.”

Hospital officials say that swelling and fluid in his lungs caused his problem. They found no evidence of a heart attack. He was admitted to the hospital because of “respiratory arrest,” officials said.

Falwell also was in the hospital for nearly two weeks in late February and early March battling pneumonia. Doctors said Falwell’s latest condition seems to be unrelated to the earlier bout with pneumonia.

Falwell serves as pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Lynchburg, and as chancellor of Liberty University.

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