NASHVILLE Country music star Randy Travis suffered a stroke while at a Texas hospital and was in surgery late Wednesday, the singers 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 remains in critical condition.
His family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support, Webster said.
Drs. William Gray and Michael Mack of the Baylor Health Care System described Travis condition and hospitalization in a video statement.
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 North Carolina-born Travis is a traditional country purist who is a pivotal figure in the genre, best known for his hits Forever and Ever, Amen and Three Wooden Crosses. His Warner Bros. debut album Storms of Life sold 3 million copies.
The illness comes as Travis has been trying to put his life back together after 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.