Country singer Randy Travis has reportedly suffered a stroke in the Texas hospital where he was undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure.
According to the Associated Press, Travis’ publicist confirmed the 54-year-old country singer’s stroke on Wednesday night, adding that it occurred while Travis was undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
Doctors told USA Today earlier on Wednesday that Travis had remained in good health until three weeks ago, when he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens the heart muscle and can lead to fatal heart failure in some cases. Since then, Travis has been in and out of several hospitals while dealing with complications from the illness. Earlier in the week, doctors announced that Travis had suffered congestive heart failure after the initial diagnosis and was in critical condition.
Travis reportedly has a family history of heart disease. His sister-in-law, Teresa Traywick, explained to People on Tuesday that several people in Travis’ family have suffered serious heart problems in the past.
"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."
Travis made headlines last year after he was arrested for assault and public intoxication, earning probation for the incident. Doctors say it may be possible that his history of hard drinking worsened an underlying problem.
"To say that Mr. Travis' alcohol use exacerbated his problems would be pure speculation, but if someone told me alcohol played a role in his cardiac problems, I wouldn't be surprised," Dr. Ramin Oskoui, a cardiologist and internal medicine specialist in Washington, told CNN.
According to TMZ, it’s unclear what caused Travis’ initial diagnosis of viral cardiomyopathy. The celebrity news site added the Grammy winner was supposed to perform in Deadwood, S.D., Wednesday. It appears that Travis missed that performance.
The country singer is best known for hits like “Three Wooden Crosses,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “Diggin’ Up Bones” and “Deeper Than The Holler.”
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.