Randy Travis. (Photo: Larry McCormack, The Tennessean)
DALLAS, Tex. (USA TODAY) - Randy Travis has awakened since last week's emergency surgery to relieve pressure in his brain following a stroke, but the singer of Forever and Ever, Amen and Three Wooden Crosses will need months to recover.
In a video posted to YouTube Monday afternoon, Travis' physicians and his fiancee speak to the singer's condition.
Travis "did suffer an acute viral illness over the past three weeks, but that seems to have tipped over a more chronic condition," says cardiac surgeon Michael Mack. "He has what's called idiopathic cardiomyopathy, which means he has scarring of his heart muscle that is causing his heart to be weak and not able to support his circulation without help of either medical devices of medication."
Travis' family apparently has a history of cardiomyopathy.
Travis is breathing spontaneously with the help of the ventilator, but doctors at Baylor's Heart Hospital in Dallas hope to have him weaned off the device soon and breathing on his own. Brain scans show decreased swelling in his brain.
"He is awake and alert, interacting with his family and friends and beginning to start doing some early physical therapy," says doctor Gary Erwin. Erwin anticipates Travis will need to stay in the hospital another two to three weeks followed by a stay in an inpatient facility where he will receive aggressive physical therapy. "We anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke."