Monday, July 8, 2013 , Updated 3:18 p.m., July 9, 2013
UPDATED: Texas country singer Randy Travis in critical condition
He has a viral infection.
Randy Travis is in critical condition in a Plano hospital after suffering heart complications from a recent illness.
The 54-year-old country singer, who recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy, was admitted to a hospital Sunday, according to his Nashville-based publicists, Webster & Associates Public Relations & Marketing.
On Monday he had heart surgery, according to People magazine, which spoke with his sister-in-law Teresa Traywick, the wife of Randy's brother Ricky Traywick.
[UPDATE: Earlier this morning, Traywick issued a statement saying the country singer, currently hospitalized in critical condition at a Plano hospital, had undergone heart surgery to treat his viral cardiomyopathy. His Nashville-based publicist says that is not true.
“Contrary to reports, Randy Travis has not undergone heart surgery,” says an email from Kirt Webster. Instead, says Webster, he “underwent placement of an IMPELLA peripheral left ventricular assist device for stabilization prior to transferring hospitals.”
The device is a mechanical pump that is surgically implanted in the left ventricle that allows the heart to keep pumping blood in case it fails.
Webster says Travis remains in critical condition.]
Viral cardiomyopathy is a heart condition caused by a virus. The Mayo Clinic website describes cardiomyopathy as a disease that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle, making it harder for the heart to pump blood and carry it to the rest of the body. It can lead to heart failure. Treatments range from medications and surgically implanted devices to heart transplants.
The illness comes after a series of legal troubles for Travis, who lives in Tioga, in Grayson County.
He was arrested outside a Sanger church in February 2012 for public intoxication. That August in Grayson County, a naked, unarmed Travis threatened to shoot and kill state troopers, and weeks later he got into a fight in a Plano church parking lot with his fiancee’s estranged husband.
266 Blanks Road
Tioga, Texas 76271
Travis was sentenced to two years’ probation, fined $2,000, and given a 180-day suspended jail sentence. He was required to spend at least 30 days at an alcohol treatment facility and complete 100 hours of community service.
Just before Christmas, Travis’ Dallas-based attorney Larry Friedman said that the singer was “committed to a new fitness regimen that includes a strict three-hour workout every day and a new high-protein diet.”
Pete Schulte, who represented Travis in the Plano case, said that he was saddened to learn of the singer’s illness and wished him a speedy recovery. “To my knowledge, he was doing very well prior to this illness. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Schulte wrote in an email.
Travis is a seven-time Grammy winner and has sold more than 20 million records.
According to his website, Travis has a number of shows scheduled between now and October, including the Craven Country Jamboree in Saskatchewan, Canada, where he was set to perform Saturday with the Dixie Chicks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.