The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 11, 2013

Singer Randy Travis recovering from brain surgery

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.

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