Country Music Star Randy Travis has Brain Surgery for Stroke

Travis remains in critical condition with congestive heart failure

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Randy Travis, 54, remains in critical condition after surgery on Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain following a stroke.

The Grammy-award winning country singer suffered the stroke while being treated for congestive heart failure.  

The heart failure was caused by a viral upper respiratory infection, according to a statement from Travis’s physicians at the Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas.

"Eat healthy and exercise regularly to reduce risk of heart problems."

Travis was first admitted at Baylor Medical Center McKinney with congestive heart failure (CHF) on Sunday, July 7, according to William Gray, MD, the director of cardiovascular services at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney, Texas.

With CHF, the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Travis was also diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy. With this disorder, a virus attacks the heart muscle, causing it to become inflamed or weakened, according to American Heart Association.

As cardiomyopathy worsens, it can lead to heart failure.

Because of his heart failure, doctors implanted an IMPELLA peripheral left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in Travis to help his heart pump. The device was inserted without surgery using a catheter.

Travis was transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano after his physicians determined that a higher level of specialized care was appropriate.

A statement from Baylor Health Care System said that Travis was showing signs of improvement when the stroke occurred on Wednesday. It was not clear if the stroke was from a blood clot that traveled to the brain or a burst blood vessel in the brain.

If blood flow is interrupted to the brain during a stroke, cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Abilities such as speech, movement and memory may be lost. Stroke symptoms include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, trouble seeing, dizziness and a sudden, severe headache.

The National Stroke Association says that if you see any warning signs of stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Getting clot-busting mediation fast is critical to reducing the damage that may be caused by a stroke.

The singer had been in excellent health until about three weeks prior to developing the viral illness, remarked Dr. Gray, along with Michael Mack, MD, Medical Director of Cardiovascular Disease, Baylor Health Care System.

Family and friends with him at the hospital are requesting prayers and support for Travis.

His doctors will be giving further updates as his condition changes.

The American Heart Association says that a healthy diet and physical activity may help reduce symptoms of cardiomyopathies.  

Doctors may recommend other lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing excess weight, getting enough sleep and avoiding the use of alcohol.

He is one of country music’s top-selling artists, known for songs such as "Forever and Ever, Amen," "Diggin’ Up Bones" and "Deeper Than the Holler."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 12, 2013
Last Updated:
July 30, 2013