Singer Randy Travis Recovering From Brain Surgery

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.
(AP) — Country music stars and fans joined together to urge prayers
for Randy Travis overnight as he recovered from brain surgery following
a stroke at a Texas hospital.

Travis remained
in critical condition after surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure
on his brain, publicist Kirt Webster said. The 54-year-old Grammy
Award-winning singer had been improving while being treated for heart
failure caused by a viral infection when he had the stroke.

Steady
concern for Travis, a popular and pivotal figure in country music,
turned to active support as stars like Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum
and Martina McBride and the Grand Ole Opry used Twitter to join
Webster's call for prayers. Hundreds of users reached out using the
hashtag PrayforRandy.

“We're all pulling for you Randy,” Brad Paisley said via Twitter.

The
setback occurred hours after doctors said Travis was showing signs of
improvement since the start of treatment Sunday for congestive heart
failure.

It was not clear what kind of stroke
Travis suffered. The most common type of stroke is caused by a blood
clot that travels to the brain. The other kind happens when a blood
vessel in the head bursts or leaks. Stroke patients who get treatment
quickly are usually given a drug to dissolve the clot that caused the
stroke.

Drs. William Gray and Michael Mack of
the Baylor Health Care System in Texas described Travis' condition and
hospitalization in a video statement earlier Wednesday.

“His
condition has stabilized, and he has shown signs of improvement,” Mack
said in the video. “On behalf of Mr. Travis' family, friends and
associates, we would like to express our extreme gratitude for the
overwhelming affection and support that Mr. Travis has received.”

The
“Three Wooden Crosses” singer was in good health until three weeks
before he was hospitalized, when he contracted a viral upper respiratory
infection, Gray said.

The viral illness led to a weakened heart muscle that eventually worsened into heart failure.

Travis
was admitted to Baylor Medical Center McKinney near his home in Tioga,
about 60 miles north of Dallas, through the emergency room Sunday. The
singer underwent a procedure to have a pump inserted by catheter that
helps increase blood flow before being transferred to The Heart Hospital
Baylor Plano.

Travis' illness comes as he's
been trying to put his life back together following a series of
embarrassing public incidents involving alcohol. Travis pleaded guilty
to driving while intoxicated in January following an arrest last year
and received two years of probation and a $2,000 fine. He was required
to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete
100 hours of community service.

He recently
made several public appearances, including a spot on the Country Music
Association Festival's nightly concert lineup and a poignant performance
at George Jones' funeral.

Webster said from
the hospital Travis' fiancee Mary Beougher was at his side and that he
is surrounded by family and friends, including his brother, Dennis
Traywick, and his pastor, Jeff Perry. Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys,
Chuck Norris and several others have called to check in on Travis.

The
North Carolina-born Travis is a traditional country purist known for
hits “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “I Told You So.” His 1986 Warner Bros.
debut album “Storms of Life” sold 4 million copies, and helped return
country music to the sound of Hank Williams and George Jones.

“I
always feel like he's part of our family, he's in our family,” Keith
Urban said in an interview Wednesday morning in Nashville. “And I was
one of those guys in Australia that bought `Storms of Life' and became a
Randy fan very quickly in late `80s, and I really feel for him right
now.”



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