If Randy Travis survives everything he’s been though the country superstar will have enough material for five albums. Let’s pray that he makes it. Travis has made it through surgery and a stroke, and congenital heart failure. Things were so bad, his publicist now reveals, he was put on life support. Here’s the transcript of this afternoon’s press conference:
((Dr. Michael Mack))
My name is Michael Mack. I’m a cardiac surgeon and the medical director of cardiovascular disease at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas.
I am joined by Dr. Erwin who is an intensivist at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano and Mary Davis who is the fiancée of Randy Travis.
We would like to update you as to Mr. Travis’ condition since our last statements early last week.
As events have occurred it’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together. It’s been much clearer as to what events transpired and what Mr. Travis’ medical condition is.
On Sunday, July 7, he was admitted through the emergency room of Baylor McKinney hospital whereupon he was put on life support. He was then transferred here to The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano for a higher level of support.
For the first 48 hours after transfer he required mechanical devices to support his circulation and his heart.
His heart did respond positively to that and after a 48-hour period of time we were able to wean him from that support.
During this period of time of resuscitation, he suffered a stroke. As a result of that stroke, pressure built up in his brain that required an emergency neurosurgical operation to relieve that pressure.
That operation was successful and Mr. Travis has awakened since that operation.
In terms of putting together the sequence of medical events, we were concerned initially that he had acute viral myocarditis as a cause of this.
As we’re able to put the pieces of the puzzle together, he did suffer an acute viral illness over the past three weeks, but that seems to have tipped over a more chronic condition.
He has what’s called idiopathic cardiomyopathy, which means he has scarring of his heart muscle that is causing his heart to be weak and not able to support his circulation without help of either medical devices of medication.
We performed a biopsy of his heart muscle and it shows scar tissue. It does not show active infection. From the appearance on echocardiograms, which are images of his heart, this is not the appearance of either drugs or alcohol causing the heart condition.
Mr. Travis does have a family history of cardiomyopathy and it is more likely related to that.
At the current time, Mr. Travis’ condition is stabilized and I would like to turn to Dr. Erwin for a further update.
((Dr. Gary Erwin))
Thank you. As Dr. Mack mentioned previously, Mr. Travis is no longer requiring any mechanical devices that help support his heart. He does remain on intravenous medications to help support his heart, but we are decreasing the doses of those everyday and actually beginning to start him on oral medications which he will use long term to help support his heart.
As a result of his heart condition, acutely, and the stroke, he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe during his hospitalization. He remains on that, but we are decreasing that support daily.
He is breathing spontaneously with the help of the ventilator and hope to have him weaned off of that very soon breathing completely on his own.
In terms of his stroke, he has responded well to the surgical procedure he had to relieve the pressure in his brain. We’re seeing improvements in brain scans showing decreased swelling of his brain. He is awake and alert interacting with his family and friends and beginning to start doing some early physical therapy.
We do anticipate that he will need to stay here at The Heart Hospital for another two to three weeks to stabilize his heart during which time we will begin aggressive physical therapy. After he is discharged from here, we anticipate transfer to an inpatient facility where can receive aggressive physical therapy. We anticipate it will take months to recover from the stroke.
I would now like to ask Mary Davis, Randy’s fiancée, to say a few words. Mary.
((Ms. Mary Davis))
Thank you. First and foremost, I just want to thank the friends, the family, the outpouring of love and affection that has shown up at the hospital and at home and through several different avenues of support.
I know that those are prayers that have helped mend his heart along with the skilled hands of the physicians and doctors and nurses here at The Heart Hospital of Baylor in Plano.
I know that Randy feels each and every one of those. He feels the hands of the doctors and the care of the nurses and the love of his fans. His friends and family have all been touched by that. He is responding well to voices and he sees and he understands. He’s miles beyond where any of us thought he would be a few days ago.
It’s heart-warming to see that we have such a strong person under there that’s willing to fight with us. We all know now that we had greatness to work with. We ask for your continued support. I know that Randy will be so touched by that when he understands the magnitude of it all.
So thank you and I appreciate everything everybody has done here at the hospital to give us the outcome that we’ve received. With the understanding now in retrospect that this could have occurred anywhere at anytime. We were in the finest place we could be to have the best outcome that we could ever have. Thank you.
((Dr. Michael Mack))
Although Mr. Travis is still in critical condition, it has stabilized. We do not anticipate significant changes on a daily basis, but we will keep you informed as his condition improves.