Country singer Randy Travis is doing better a week after being hospitalized in Texas for complications of viral cardiomyopathy. The 54-year-old suffered a stroke while being cared for at The Heart Hospital Baylor in Plano, but on Monday his doctors told the Dallas Morning News his condition had stabilized and he was “breathing spontaneously.”
"Mr. Travis is no longer requiring any mechanical devices that help support his heart," Dr. Gary Erwin, the pulmonary disease specialist treating him, told the paper. "He does remain on intravenous medications to help support his heart, but we are decreasing the doses of those every day and actually beginning to start him on oral medications, which he will use long term to help support his heart.”
Travis could be released from the hospital within two to three weeks, but it will be months until he is fully recovered.
"As a result of his heart condition, acutely, and the stroke, he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe during his hospitalization," Erwin said. "He remains on that, but we are decreasing that support daily. He is breathing spontaneously with the help of the ventilator and hope to have him weaned off of that very soon breathing completely on his own."
Travis has had a few run-ins with the law, like when he was arrested for assault and public intoxication last year, so many fans were worried if alcohol played a role in Travis’ deteriorated health. But his doctors said recent issues with drinking didn’t factor into his illness.
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"We performed a biopsy of his heart muscle, and it shows scar tissue," said Dr. Michael Mack, the medical director of cardiovascular disease and cardiac surgeon at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. "It does not show active infection. From the appearance on echocardiograms, which are images of his heart, this is not the appearance of either drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition. Mr. Travis does have a family history of cardiomyopathy, and it is more likely related to that."