Jimmy Carter treated for dehydration after day in sun
WINNIPEG — Former United States president Jimmy Carter was taken to hospital Thursday after he became dehydrated while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the international home-building charity he has supported for decades.
Carter, 92, was in Winnipeg helping to build a set of stairs, alongside volunteers including Manitoba Families Minister Scott Fielding, when he began to feel weak after two hours in the sun.
“He had just said that he needed to take a break and so he sat down — there was a chair that was close to him,” Fielding said.
“He sat down there and his secret security were there as well. They hydrated him, giving him some water and some Gatorade.”
Carter required assistance to walk to a nearby trailer and was taken soon afterward by ambulance across town to St. Boniface General Hospital.
“We were out in the hot sun, and you’re doing a lot of work. No matter what age you are, you’re going to get dehydrated,” Fielding said.
The chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International said Carter received medical attention as a precaution, but was fine.
“He has been taken offsite for observation. He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and to keep building,” Jonathan Reckford said.
Carter was in Edmonton earlier this week helping Habitat For Humanity, which builds affordable housing for low-income earners.
Carter served as U.S. president from 1977 to 1981. He was diagnosed with melanoma in 2015 and was treated with an immunotherapy drug. He said months later medical scans no longer showed any cancer.
His wife, Rosalynn, was with him at the project Thursday and by his side at the hospital. The St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation gave its annual International Award to the then first lady in 1979.
In an interview with Canadian Press earlier this week, Carter said that Canadian governments should consider emulating the nonprofit group he has promoted for years as a way to alleviate an affordable housing crunch.
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter is seen Thursday building stairs at a Habitat for Humanity home in Winnipeg.