Jimmy Carter’s grandson gives update on ailing former president and first lady: ‘He’s pretty sick’

After he was eliminated from the ABC reality show Claim to Fame, Hugo Wentzel, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, shared a health update on both his grandfather and grandmother.

“He always wants to be doing something with his mind, so he’s trying to keep himself busy, but he is really sick and getting older,” Wentzel told EW.

Following a series of hospital stays, Carter entered home hospice care in February.

After the 24-year-old son of Amy Carter was eliminated from the show he gave a moving speech honoring his 98-year-old grandfather.

“He’s an amazing grandpa. Honestly, I love him so much. I call him Papa,” Wentzel shared with his fellow contestants. “He led America and my family very well. I stand for everything he stands for. He believes in equality for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, anything. He’s just an amazing person. I aspire to be like him one day.”

He also mentioned the former president’s health.

“I also want to say that he’s recently been put into hospice because he has been very sick. It was really sad. I love you so much, Papa. You were amazing and I will do everything I can to keep your legacy alive. Lead with love. That’s all I got to say.”

US president Jimmy Carter with his wife Rosalynn Carter (born 1927). Jimmy’ Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924). (Photo by: Universal History Archive/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Wentzel said unfortunately it’s been “harder and harder” to see his grandfather at his Plains, Georgia home where he’s been receiving hospice care for the past several months.

However, his mother “spends a lot of her time with him.”

“My mom spends a lot of her time with him. She spends almost half her time taking care of him at this point just because of things like COVID regulations. So it’s really family oriented. I haven’t been seeing him as much recently, but he knows that I love him and we’re supporting him through this time.”

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“He’s pretty sick,” Wentzel said of his grandfather. “He still does use his brain. He listens to audiobooks. He’s a genius. He’s super smart. I love him. He always wants to be doing something with his mind, so he’s trying to keep himself busy, but he is really sick and getting older.

As for his grandmother, the former first lady, “she does have dementia and when I see her, she does forget what’s going on sometimes, but when she remembers it’s amazing. I love her.”

“I just want to say that she’s an amazing woman. She’s put in so much work in her life. She’s done things for mental health. I want everyone to know how incredibly important and beautiful she is as a person and a grandma.”


We continue to pray for both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter during this difficult time. Please join us.