Franklin Graham undergoes heart surgery at Mayo Clinic

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Evangelist Franklin Graham is recovering following a successful, specialized heart procedure on Monday to treat a condition that had developed in recent months, a spokesman confirmed.

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Mark Barber, a spokesman for North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, stated in a news release obtained by The Associated Press and Fox News that Graham underwent the procedure at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, serves as the president of global charity Samaritan’s Purse and of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“In recent months, Franklin had developed constrictive pericarditis, inflammation, and hardening of the sac around the heart that compresses the heart and prevents it from working properly. The surgery involved removing the pericardium,” Mark Barber, a spokesman for North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, stated.

Barber added that Graham is expected to make a full recovery and said that doctors “assured him that he should be able to return to his normal activity and ministry schedule.”

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.