Singer Randy Travis in surgery after stroke
FILE - In this June 7, 2013 file photo, Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Publicist Kirt Webster on Wednesday night, July 10, 2013 said that the 54-year-old Travis is in surgery after suffering a stroke while he was being treated for congestive heart failure because of a viral illness. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music star Randy Travis suffered a stroke while at a Texas hospital and was in surgery late Wednesday, the singer's publicist said.
Publicist Kirt Webster said Wednesday night that the 54-year-old Travis suffered the stroke while he was being treated for congestive heart failure because of a viral illness.
Webster said Travis was undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. He remained in critical condition.
"His family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support," Webster said in a news release.
It was not clear what kind of stroke Travis suffered. Ischemic strokes, which are the most common kind, occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain, according to the American Heart Association. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, causing bleeding in the head. These include aneurysms.
The setback occurred hours after doctors said Travis was showing signs of improvement but remained in critical condition with congestive heart failure because of a viral illness.
FILE - In this June 7, 2013 file photo, Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Travis has been hospitalized in Texas with viral cardiomyopathy. A news release from the singer's publicist says Travis was admitted to the hospital Sunday, July 7, 2013, in Dallas. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)
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 Grammy Award-winning 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 on 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.