Grandson of Jimmy Carter Provides Health Update on Ailing Ex-President and Former First Lady: ‘His Health Is Challenged’

After his departure from the ABC reality show Claim to Fame, Hugo Wentzel, who happens to be the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, provided an update on the health of both his grandfather and grandmother.

Wentzel shared, “My grandfather always seeks mental engagement, striving to stay active, but his health is fragile due to the challenges of aging and illness.” He conveyed this to EW magazine.

Following a succession of hospital stays, Carter transitioned to receiving hospice care at home in February.

Upon being eliminated from the show, the 24-year-old son of Amy Carter delivered a heartfelt speech paying tribute to his 98-year-old grandfather. He expressed, “He’s not just an exceptional grandparent; I hold an immense affection for him. I affectionately call him Papa. He has not only capably led both my family and the nation, but he embodies principles I deeply admire. He’s a firm believer in equality, irrespective of race, social class, or gender. He’s truly remarkable, and I aspire to emulate his qualities.”

Wentzel also shed light on the former president’s health status, saying, “I must also share that he has recently been placed under hospice care due to his significant illness. It’s a somber situation. Papa, you have my boundless love. Your greatness resonates, and I’m committed to upholding your legacy. Leading with love—those are my parting words.”

Regrettably, Wentzel remarked that being able to visit his grandfather at the family home in Plains, Georgia, where he’s been receiving hospice care, has grown increasingly challenging. Yet, he affirmed that his mother remains devoted, spending a considerable amount of her time attending to his needs.

He stated, “My mother dedicates a substantial portion of her schedule to be with him. A significant factor in this commitment is the ongoing impact of COVID regulations. It’s truly centered around family care. I haven’t had the chance to see him as frequently lately, but he’s fully aware of my affection, and we’re united in supporting him during this period.”

Wentzel described his grandfather’s condition, saying, “He’s confronting serious health issues. Nevertheless, his mental acuity persists. He engages with audiobooks and remains an intellectual force. His brilliance is awe-inspiring. My affection for him is profound. He’s unwavering in his pursuit of mental engagement, striving to keep his mind occupied. Nonetheless, the toll of illness and aging is evident.”

Turning his attention to his grandmother, the former first lady, Wentzel noted, “She grapples with dementia, leading to moments of forgetfulness. Yet, in those fleeting instances when recollection dawns, it’s truly heartwarming. I hold her dear.”

He concluded by expressing his admiration for his grandmother, stating, “I’m compelled to emphasize that she’s a remarkable woman. Her life has been marked by considerable contributions, particularly in the realm of mental health. I want the world to recognize her immense significance and the beauty she brings as both a person and a grandmother.”

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