Former President Carter is doing “fine” after a fall he suffered on Sunday resulted in him being rushed to the hospital to receive stitches.
Carter left the hospital the same night to appear before a speaking engagement in Nashville, Tennessee.
“”First of all, I want to explain my black eye,” the former president said in his opening remarks at the Ryman Auditorium, ABC News reports. “I got up this morning at home in Plains, getting ready to go to church, ’cause right after that we had a family reunion, and then we were coming to Nashville. And I fell down and hit my forehead on a sharp edge, and had to go to the hospital.”
“They put 14 stitches in my forehead and my eye is black as you noticed,” he also said.
Carter, who recently turned 95, took the podium alongside his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, to kick-off the 36th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity.
“You notice my hat? My cap? The Braves just beat the Cardinals 3 to 1,” the former president joked.
While getting ready to go to church at his home in Plains, Georgia, Sunday morning, Carter said, “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.”
The former President acknowledged that he and his wife would be having a “limited schedule” throughout the build this week.
“We’ll be doing the best we can,” Carter said, adding that he and the former first lady will be working on the porches of each of the 21 homes built in Nashville this week so that all of the Habitat houses “will have something we built.”
Rosalynn Carter, 92, also spoke, telling volunteers, “I have great admiration for all of you. In fact, I love all of you for coming out.”
She wished them good luck, and shared some personal wisdom: “If it rains, don’t worry about it, just get wet.”
Immediately after the fall it was unclear if Carter would have been available to attend the opening ceremony in Nashville.
The Carter Center assured his supporters that he was doing well and planned to still attend the event.
“Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter had a fall today at his home in Plains, Georgia, that required stitches above his brow,” the Carter Center said, as ABC News reports.
“He said he feels fine and wanted everyone to know that he and Mrs. Carter are eager to be at Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Nashville, Tennessee, Oct. 6-11, starting with the opening ceremony this evening,” the statement continued.
ABC News adds:
Carter was also diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in his liver in 2015 that had spread to his brain. Carter announced about six months after the diagnosis that he no longer needed cancer treatment.
He turned 95 on Tuesday. He has already lived longer than any other president in U.S. history.
Carter served as governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975 and then defeated Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential election. He would serve just one term, however, losing to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 race. He also faced a tough fight from the left in the form of Ted Kennedy.