Reporting Kurt Wolff
The statement also contradicts earlier, widely circulated reports that Travis had undergone heart surgery. The earlier information was attributed to Randy’s sister-in-law Teresa Traywick (Travis’s birth name is Randy Traywick).
“Contrary to reports, Randy Travis has not undergone heart surgery,” reads the latest press statement from Webster & Associates, where Travis is a client. “Travis is being treated for viral cardiomyopathy. Travis was admitted into a Texas hospital on Sunday and underwent placement of an IMPELLA peripheral left ventricular assist device for stabilization prior to transferring hospitals. The GRAMMY winner remains in critical condition.”
As we reported yesterday, Travis is suffering from “complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy.”
According to Dr. David Hnida, medical editor at CBS4 in Denver, cardiomyopathy is “a condition where something, usually a virus, attacks the heart muscle, weakening it and causing it to malfunction. It’s different from a heart attack, where a blood vessel supplying blood to the muscle gets blocked, causing a section of heart muscle to die…. Think of it as your heart being attacked directly by the flu.”
Because it’s a virus, Hnida continues, generally speaking “there is little treatment except supportive measures” and “antibiotics do not help.”
Hnida says that cause of cardiomyopathy is largely unknown, but “if your immune system is weak, if you abuse alcohol, or take a lot of medications you may be at higher risk.” Travis has recently had a very public battle with alcohol, which led to recent arrests. However, Hnida also notes that doctors “also see young, healthy people get this condition.” In other words, let’s not jump to conclusions.
One of country music’s biggest stars of the last few decades, Travis just released a new single last month, “Tonight I’m Playing Possum.” Recorded with Joe Nichols, it’s a tribute to his friend, the late George Jones.
Sending healing strength and love to you this morning @randytravis -KU
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) July 9, 2013
According to Webster & Associates, cards and well wishes can be sent to:
266 Blanks Road
Tioga, Texas 76271
More on this story as it develops.