Jimmy Carter Hospitalized While Building Homes in Canada

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter helps build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Thursday. (Stacia Franz/Manitoba Government via AP)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was treated at a hospital Thursday after becoming dehydrated while helping to build houses in Canada for Habitat for Humanity.

The 92-year-old former president known for his post-presidential humanitarian work was taken to a hospital in Winnipeg as a precaution for rehydration, spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said.

Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford said the former president did not appear to be in serious medical danger.

“President Carter told us he is OK and is being taken offsite for observation,” Reckford said. “He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and keep building.”

Carter had joined Habitat as the organization builds 150 homes for people in need in Canada to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary.

The former president and his wife, Rosalynn, were in Edmonton, where Habitat is building 75 homes, from Monday to Wednesday before coming to Winnipeg, where the couple joined hundreds of volunteers working on 25 homes in the St. James community, said Rowena Sara, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Photos showed the former president in jeans, long-sleeved shirt and red hard hat using a hand drill at the work site. Sara said he was scheduled to return Friday.

Carter had been working for about 90 minutes when he went to sit down in a chair, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. He appeared to wobble, so Secret Service agents led him to his motorcade. He was treated by paramedics who took him away in an ambulance, without using lights or siren, the newspaper said.

The Carters are prominent backers of the Atlanta-based building charity. This week’s project building houses in several Canadian communities is the 34th time the Carters have pitched in on Habitat projects, lending a hand and their name to promote the work.

Carter was diagnosed with melanoma that spread to his brain in 2015 but announced in March of the following year that he no longer needed treatment. Carter continued to volunteer for Habitat while being treated for cancer, working alongside volunteers at a home in Memphis in November 2015.