updated 4/6/2005 5:48:13 PM ET 2005-04-06T21:48:13

The Rev. Jerry Falwell was released from the hospital Wednesday after a nine-day stay for respiratory problems that his son said still have doctors stumped.

“The doctors couldn’t give us a definitive answer, but they said it is not a chronic condition,” Jonathan Falwell said.

The 71-year-old television evangelist and founder of the Moral Majority was in respiratory arrest when he was admitted to Lynchburg General Hospital on March 28 and had to be resuscitated.

Doctors initially said Falwell suffered from congestive heart failure but have deferred to the Falwell family for medical updates.

The younger Falwell said doctors told family members that leakage of fluid from his father’s lungs likely led to a buildup of pressure on his heart, causing the respiratory failure.

Jonathan Falwell said doctors will be able to treat the condition with prescription drugs.

Falwell said doctors performed a heart catheterization on his father last week that showed blockage in one of his arteries had improved from a similar procedure performed five years ago.

“Essentially his heart is strong as an ox,” Jonathan Falwell said.

It was the second time this year that Falwell was hospitalized. He left the hospital March 4 after 13 days, spending part of the time on a ventilator because of what was described as a viral infection.

Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979 and became the face of the religious right as his political lobbying organization grew to 7 million members and raised millions for conservative politicians.

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