Randy Travis Has Heart Procedure

In hospital with viral cardiomyopathy complications
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2013 6:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 9, 2013 1:00 PM CDT
Randy Travis in Critical Condition
In this June 7, 2013 file photo, Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.   (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

Randy Travis was admitted to a Texas hospital in critical condition Sunday, and had a heart procedure yesterday, People reports. The 54-year-old is "suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy," according to a press release from his rep. CBS News notes that the illness occurs when a virus attacks and weakens the heart muscle. Treatment options are limited, and the condition can cause heart failure. TMZ reports that Travis initially thought he just had a cold but it turned out to be pneumonia; his health has declined quickly, and family and friends are "frantic."

The singer hasn't been having a great year, but he was nominated for a CMT Award two months ago, People reports. His sister-in-law previously told People Travis had heart surgery, but the magazine clarified later: He had what it calls a "serious medical procedure" to implant a device to stabilize him before transferring hospitals. (As his rep explains for the technically minded, it's called an "Impella peripheral left ventricular assist device." For the not-so-technically minded, TMZ notes that the device is known as the "world's smallest heart pump.") He's still in critical condition, and the family says it is "very thankful" for all the "love and support" Travis has received from fans. (Read more Randy Travis stories.)

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