Randy Travis 2011(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)
Country music stars and fans joined together to urge prayers for Randy Travis overnight as he recovered from brain surgery following a stroke at a Texas hospital.
Publicist Kirt Webster says Travis remains in critical condition Thursday after surgery the previous night to relieve pressure on his brain. The 54-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer had been improving while being treated for heart failure caused by a viral infection when he had the stroke.
Steady concern for Travis, a popular and pivotal figure in country music, turned to active support as stars like Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride and the Grand Ole Opry used Twitter to join Webster's call for prayers. Hundreds of users reached out using the hashtag PrayforRandy.
Webster said Wednesday night that the 54-year-old Travis sufferedthe stroke while he was being treated for congestive heart failurebecause of a viral illness.
"His family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support," Webster said in a news release.
Wednesday, doctors said that Travis was showing signs of improvement
but remained in critical condition with congestive heart failure because
of a viral illness.
The information came in a video statement from Drs. William Gray and Michael Mack of the Baylor Health Care System on Wednesday.
condition has stabilized, and he has shown signs of improvement," Mack
said in the video. "On behalf of his Mr. Travis' family, friends and
associates, we would like to express our extreme gratitude for the
overwhelming affection and support that Mr. Travis has received."
54-year-old singer was in good health until three weeks before he was
hospitalized, when he contracted a viral upper respiratory infection,
That led to a case of viral cardiomyopathy, a heart condition caused
by the virus that infected his heart muscle, causing it to become
weakened and enlarged so that it could not pump properly.
was admitted to Baylor Medical Center McKinney near his home in Tioga,
Tenn., through the emergency room on Sunday. The singer underwent a
procedure to have a pump installed by catheter that helps increase blood
flow before being transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano.
The doctors said they "will be giving further updates as his condition changes."
The illness comes as Travis has been trying to put his life back
together after a series of embarrassing public incidents involving
alcohol. Travis pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in January
following an arrest last year and received two years probation and a
$2,000 fine. He was required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol
treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.
was recently on the road touring, with shows scheduled through October.
In April, he performed at a memorial honoring late country singer,
The North Carolina-born Travis is a traditional
country purist who is a pivotal figure in the genre best known for his
hits "Forever and Ever, Amen" and "Three Wooden Crosses." His Warner
Bros. debut album "Storms of Life" sold 3 million copies and helped
return country music to its roots.
His peers and fans have been watching Travis' progress closely.
always feel like he's part of our family, he's in our family," Keith
Urban said Wednesday morning. "And I was one of those guys in Australia
that bought 'Storms of Life' and became a Randy fan very quickly in late
'80s, and I really feel for him right now."