The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 11, 2013

Singer Randy Travis recovering from brain surgery

(Continued)

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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