In sad news from the country music world, Grammy-award winner Randy Travis, 54, is in critical condition at a Texas hospital. His family says he was admitted Sunday and had heart surgery yesterday.
His brother's wife, Teresa Traywick, told People the singer is "suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy." She says heart problems run in their family as her husband, Ricky Traywick, had a heart attack last year, and the brothers' mother also had heart issues.
She told the magazine:
Their mother passed away at an early age with her heart, so it is like these boys are following right in their footsteps. My prayers are with them. That's all I can say right now.
Of course, Travis has also been in the news several times in the past couple of years for a variety of run-ins with the law that all seemed to involve alcohol, including a naked car crash and assault charges. It's been clear for awhile that he needs help, and just three weeks ago he completed rehab, which was court-ordered after his drunk driving arrest last year. Now, the question is -- did the alcohol contribute to his heart problems, or did he drink to deal with the health problems he knew he had?
Dr. Ramin Oskoui, a cardiologist and internal medicine specialist in Washington, told CNN:
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.
Regardless if the two are related, hopefully he will pull through this and get whatever additional help he may need. He's such a legend in the music industry, and has given the world so many memorable songs, including my favorite "Forever and Ever, Amen". Hopefully he'll give us many more.
Thoughts and prayers to Randy and his family.
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