The Rev. Russ Bixler, one of the founders of Cornerstone TeleVision, has been hospitalized with double pneumonia. Bixler, 72, underwent surgery Dec. 10 for a slow-growing lung tumor, returned home on Christmas Eve and went to a Pittsburgh area hospital emergency room the next day.
"He came into the hospital with an extremely high fever. He's just been battling for his life," Paul Bixler, one of the minister's sons and a Cornerstone producer, said late yesterday afternoon. The family has been asking viewers of WPCB, located at Channel 40, to pray for a speedy recovery.
"The family's here and the nurses and doctors are wonderful -- They're doing everything they can for him. ... He's a fighter, though; he's not going to give up, but we are asking people to pray for him."
WPCB periodically began running a message across the bottom of the TV screen about Bixler after he returned to the hospital. While family members ask that no phone calls to the unidentified hospital be made, they would welcome cards. They can be sent to Bixler at Cornerstone TeleVision, 1 Signal Hill Drive, Wall, PA 15148.
Bixler and his wife, Norma, have one daughter, three sons and 10 grandchildren. Cornerstone has been in the news lately because of its swap and sale deal with WQED Pittsburgh that would bring the two organizations a combined $35 million.