Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was treated at a hospital in Canada Thursday after becoming dehydrated while helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, a charity he has championed for more than 30 years.
“President Carter has been working hard all week. He was dehydrated working in the hot sun,” Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford said in a statement. “President Carter told us he is OK and is being taken off-site for observation. He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and keep building.”
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, the newspaper said, to a hospital in Winnipeg as a precaution, for rehydration.
The 92-year-old statesman, the 39th president of the United States, was in the White House from 1977-81. He has been treated for cancer since 2015, when he underwent surgery to remove a small mass on his liver; the cancer was found to be melanoma, and was in his brain as well as his liver.
Carter took a course of immunotherapy, using a drug that adjusts the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, and radiation therapy, and he was pronounced cancer-free four months after the initial diagnosis. He has remained cancer-free and traveled to Washington for President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, becoming the oldest ex-president to attend the quadrennial swearing-in ceremony.
Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were in Canada this week, working with Habitat for Humanity to help build 150 homes in honor of the country’s 150th anniversary. The international nonprofit group, devoted to building “simple, decent and affordable housing,” is based in Atlanta, where it was founded in 1976.
Since they began working with the nongovernmental group, the Carters have had a hand in the building, renovation and repair of more than 4,000 homes, according to Habitat for Humanity’s website.