CHRIS TALBOTT,AP Music Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country singer Randy Travis remained in critical condition Tuesday in a Texas hospital after doctors inserted a device to stabilize his weakened heart.
Travis’ publicist, Kirt Webster, said in a news release Tuesday that the singer underwent the procedure after checking into the hospital Sunday with viral cardiomyopathy (kahr-dee-oh-my-OP-uh-thee), a heart condition caused by a virus.
Webster said the left ventricular assist device was used to stabilize Travis’s heart prior to a hospital transfer to Dallas. Travis lives about 60 miles from Dallas in Tioga.
The device used to help Travis is a small pump inserted with a catheter that assists the heart to pump blood.
Travis, 54, became ill after a virus infected his heart muscle, causing it to become weakened and enlarged so that it could not pump properly. Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.
No other details about the Grammy award-winning singer’s condition were available Tuesday afternoon.
Several country stars conveyed their best wishes for Travis’ recovery.
“Sending healing strength and love to you this morning @randytravis,” Keith Urban said in a message to Travis on Twitter.
And Carrie Underwood, who Travis won a Grammy Award with in 2010, wrote: “Thinking about my friend, @randytravis, tonight. Hope he gets better soon…”
Long a popular figure in country music, the North Carolina-born singer 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 probation and a $2,000 fine. He was required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.
The multiple Grammy Award-winning singer rode his alternately mellow and majestic voice to stardom in the 1980s and ’90s with hits like “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “Three Wooden Crosses.”