Country crooner Randy Travis was placed in a Texas hospital Sunday to treat his viral cardiomyopathy, a heart infection, but rumors that the 54-year-old singer went into surgery are untrue, his rep Kirt Webster told Eonline.com Tuesday.
Webster said Travis is being treated for viral cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens the heart muscle and can lead to fatal heart failure in some cases. Earlier in the day, People.com had reported the Grammy-winner underwent placement of an Impella peripheral left ventricular assist device for stabilization before being taken to another hospital.
The rumor stemmed from a quote from Travis’ sister-in-law, Teresa Traywick. "We have been told he has had surgery," the wife of Randy's brother Ricky Traywick told the news site. "Our prayers are going out to him because my husband just had a heart attack last year, so it is in their family."
The disease is apparently hereditary. “Their mother passed away at an early age with her heart, so it is like these boys are following right in their footsteps," Teresa Traywick said. "My prayers are with them. That's all I can say right now."
Though the country singer is still in critical condition, he issued a statement to his supporters: "We are very thankful to the fans for their love and support during this time.”
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Travis made headlines last year after he was arrested for assault and public intoxication. According to a doctor who spoke to CNN, it’s speculative if alcohol made the singer's condition worse, but he would be shocked if it turned out that it didn't. "To say that Mr. Travis' alcohol use exacerbated his problems would be pure speculation,” Dr. Ramin Oskoui, a cardiologist and internal medicine specialist in Washington, told CNN, “but if someone told me alcohol played a role in his cardiac problems, I wouldn't be surprised.”