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Randy Travis’s Family Speaks: Says He Had Heart Surgery

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Travis at June's CMT Awards (Photo: Michael Loccisano)

Update: On Tuesday, Travis's publicist released a statement that Travis did not actually have heart surgery; rather, he received a ventricular assist device in order to stabilize his condition.

Randy Travis has undergone heart surgery after being admitted to a Texas hospital Sunday in critical condition, according to news from his family.

"We have been told he has had surgery. Our prayers are going out to him because my husband just had a heart attack last year, so it is in their family," Theresa Traywick, who is married to Travis's brother, told People. "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."

The surgery apparently took place on Monday. There is no word at posting time as to his post-operative condition.

Travis, 54, is suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy. According to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, who practices cardiovascular medicine at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the condition is a disease of the heart muscle that affects the heart's function, and in more severe forms can result in heart failure.

"There are a number of viruses that can cause it," he noted, adding that different individuals can respond in totally different ways. "You and I could both get [the virus], and I could just get a little respiratory infection, and you could get cardiomyopathy."

Fonarow, who is not Travis's physician, can't determine without observation if the surgery will cure Travis. However, "In general, there are many individuals who can recover."

He added that Travis's past substance-abuse issues probably aren't a factor. "Alcohol can cause a form of cardiomyopathy known as alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, but alcohol itself does not cause viral cardiomyopathy."

Even if alcohol didn't cause Travis's condition, could his past problems it make it worse? "There is not evidence to suggest that," Fonarow said.

Travis has several tour dates scheduled this week, including one Wednesday in South Dakota which has been canceled.

After a rocky few years in which he made numerous headlines for legal and health issues, the singer had been enjoying what appeared to be a positive upswing in 2013, having released a new song, "Tonight I'm Playing Possum," last month in tribute to his late friend George Jones.

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