Country singer Randy Travis suffers stroke - FOX Carolina 21

Country singer Randy Travis suffers stroke

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Country singer Randy Travis performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville. (Photo by The Associated Press) Country singer Randy Travis performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville. (Photo by The Associated Press)

Country singer Randy Travis suffered a stroke and was rushed into surgery to relieve pressure on his brain Wednesday.

Travis, 54, remains in critical condition at a Texas hospital after he was admitted Sunday with a heart ailment. His family is with him at the hospital and asks for prayers and support.

Travis is receiving treatment for viral cardiomyopathy, a serious disease the American Heart Association says causes the heart muscle to become inflamed and weakened.

As the disease worsens, it can lead to heart failure, arrhythmias and heart valve problems, affecting the heart tissue's ability to pump blood.

"It is usually caused by very common viruses like adenovirus or parvovirus and sometimes, in most cases, it stays systematic. In rare cases it could progress to cardiomyopathy, a very serious situation," said Dr. Charles Hong, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Treatments range from medications and surgically implanted devices to heart transplants.

Travis' Nashville-based public relations representative said the singer had a "peripheral left ventricular assist device" installed before he was transfered to a different hospital Monday.

Send your cards and well-wishes to Randy Travis:

Randy Travis
266 Blanks Rd.
Tioga, TX 76271

The Grammy Award-winner is best known for the country hits Three Wooden Crosses, Diggin' Up Bones, Deeper Than the Holler and Forever and Ever, Amen.

He was last seen on stage in June at the CMA Music Festival at LP Field in Nashville and was also among several top country artists to perform at the memorial service for legendary country singer George Jones at the Opry House earlier this year.

The country singer-songwriter with an unmistakable, traditional voice has been working to improve his health in recent months.

He was arrested in early 2012 for public intoxication while sitting in his car in front of a church in Sanger, TX. He later apologized for what he said was "an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl."

Then in August 2012, Travis was found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote roadway after crashing his Pontiac Trans Am in northern Texas.

He pleaded guilty in January for DWI in that incident and was sentenced to two years of probation, fined $2,000 and given a 180-day suspended jail sentence.

He was also required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.

In September 2011, Travis passed out in the middle of a song he was performing at a benefit in Texas in September 2011.

Travis' press secretary later said the star was overcome by dehydration and over-the-counter allergy medications mixed with too much caffeine. That, along with the heat of the stage lights, caused him to collapse.

Travis reportedly was able to leave the stage on his own and went home to recover.

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