Reporting Kurt Wolff
He’s not out of the woods yet, and he’s still in critical condition, but Randy Travis fans and supporters can at least now breathe a small sigh of relief.
It’s been an intense week for the country singer. He as initially hospitalized on July 7 for what was then belielved to be viral cardiomyopathy. Since then, Travis has been in and out or surgery, traveled between hospitals, and seen a variety of medical specialists. Reports as to his condition have also been conflicting.
Today, though, two of his doctors, along with his fiance Mary Davis, released a detailed video statement that sheds a good deal of light on his situation and, as Dr. Michael Mack notes, helps to put together “the pieces of the puzzle” of Travis’s ordeal over the past nine days.
Dr. Mack explains that Travis was first admitted on Sunday, July 7 to Baylor McKinney hospital, where he was “put on life support” and then “transferred to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano for a higher level of support.”
At that stage, Dr. Mack says, he “required mechanical devices to support his circulation and his heart. His heart did respond positively to that and after a 48-hour period of time we were able to wean him from that support.”
However, he continues, “During this period of time of resuscitation, he suffered a stroke. As a result of that stroke, pressure built up in his brain that required an emergency neurosurgical operation to relieve that pressure. That operation was successful and Mr. Travis has awakened since that operation.”
According to Dr. Mack, the diagnosis of Travis’s condition has changed now that they’ve had time to observe his condition. “He did suffer an acute viral illness over the past three weeks,” but now they’ve determined that “he has what’s called idiopathic cardiomyopathy, which means he has scarring of his heart muscle.”
Dr. Mack notes that Travis’s heart, though, “does not show active infection.” He also notes that “this is not the appearance of either drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition.” This is notable since Travis has had widely reported problems with alcohol. Instead, “Mr. Travis does have a family history of cardiomyopathy and it is more likely related to that.”
“At the current time,” says Dr. Mack, “Mr. Travis’ condition is stabilized.”
Dr. Gary Erwin, an intensivist at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, says that “in terms of his stroke,” for which he had surgery last week, Travis “has responded well to the surgical procedure he had to relieve the pressure in his brain. We’re seeing improvements in brain scans showing decreased swelling of his brain. He is awake and alert interacting with his family and friends and beginning to start doing some early physical therapy.”
Dr. Erwin says that Travis will likely need to remain hospitalized “for another two to three weeks to stabilize his heart during which time we will begin aggressive physical therapy.” All told, he says, “we anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke.”
“I just want to thank the friends, the family, the outpouring of love and affection that has shown up at the hospital and at home and through several different avenues of support,” says Mary Davis. “I know that Randy feels each and every one of those. He is responding well to voices and he sees and he understands. He’s miles beyond where any of us thought he would be a few days ago.”
“We ask for your continued support,” she continues. “I know that Randy will be so touched by that when he understands the magnitude of it all.”
Finally, Dr. Mack assures supporters that while his condition is still critical, “it has stabilized. We do not anticipate significant changes on a daily basis, but we will keep you informed as his condition improves.”