Jerry Falwell in critical condition
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, battling his second case of viral pneumonia in just five weeks, hospital and church officials said.
Falwell, 71, was admitted to Lynchburg General Hospital shortly before midnight Monday suffering from "respiratory arrest," the hospital said in a statement.
He was put on a ventilator and stabilized but remained in critical condition, the hospital said.
"He's resting comfortably and in stable condition," said Ron Godwin, Falwell's executive assistant. "It's a recurrence of the viral pneumonia."
Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University, had left the hospital March 4 after 13 days, spending part of the time on a ventilator.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Falwell said he was feeling much better, but still recovering from his hospital stay.
Falwell had been in the pulpit Easter Sunday at Thomas Road Baptist Church and appeared in good health, said the Rev. Dave Randlett, a senior associate pastor.
"He always looks `up' so you wouldn't know if he wasn't" feeling well, Randlett said. "He was very optimistic."
An avid sports fan, Falwell had made the trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., on Saturday to see Liberty University's team play in the third round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. The team lost. He also had been in the crowd March 22 when it won in the second round in College Park, Md.