Country Music

Randy Travis Opens Up About Near-Fatal Stroke

Randy Travis is opening up about a devastating stroke, which nearly took his life in 2013. In a recent interview, the country music superstar admitted the stroke left him “damaged.” However, he is thankful for the strides he has made in the last four years.

As reported by the Tennessean, Travis began experiencing symptoms, which included head and chest congestion on July 6, 2013. Although he sought treatment at a local emergency room, Randy was sent home with a diagnosis of walking pneumonia.

The following morning, Travis said the symptoms intensified until he could not “breathe at all.” Following a more thorough examination, doctors determined the singer and songwriter’s lungs had filled with fluid. As a direct result, Randy “flatlined” for more than three minutes.

Once he was stable, Randy was transferred to the Heart Hospital, where he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which the doctors believe originated with a virus. As his heart was not functioning properly, Travis’ lungs filled with fluid and he eventually fell into a coma.

Two days later Randy Travis suffered a massive stroke.

Mary Travis said her husband was hospitalized for nearly six months and underwent multiple surgeries. In addition to the cardiomyopathy and stroke, the country music legend was plagued with pneumonia and staph infections.

Following his release from the hospital, Travis underwent occupational and physical therapy for nearly three years. Although it has not been easy, Mary said she is proud of her husband’s progress.

Randy Travis’ stroke left him with limited physical mobility and made it difficult for him to speak — or sing. However, in October of 2016, the singer performed “Amazing Grace” during his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Although he uses a wheelchair most of the time and still struggles with speaking, Mary said her husband “remembers all of his song lyrics and can use his left hand to run the chords on his guitar neck.”

Looking ahead, Mary Travis said she and Randy will strive to “remain hopeful and keep [their] heads up high and not throw in the towel and be happy with wherever God has [them].”

A native of Marshville, North Carolina, Randy Travis learned to play the guitar at the age of 10. Unfortunately, his rebellious youth overshadowed his dream of following in the footsteps of his heroes, who included Gene Autry and Hank Williams.

As reported by Biography, Randy Travis experimented with alcohol and drugs throughout his teens. In addition to dropping out of high school, the aspiring performer was arrested on numerous charges, including assault and breaking and entering.

At the age of 18, Travis was discovered by a Charlotte, North Carolina, nightclub owner named Elizabeth Hatcher. As she believed Randy was a talented musician, Elizabeth petitioned to become his legal guardian in an attempt to keep him out of trouble and help him develop his career.

Eight years later, Randy Travis signed a contract with Warner Brothers Records and released his first single. The following year, he released his first album and was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.

Throughout his career, Randy Travis has been honored with 36 awards, including Academy of Country Music Awards for Album of the Year and Single of the Year, American Music Awards for Favorite Country Male Artist and Favorite Country Video, Country Music Association Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year, and Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Gospel Album.

Most recently, the singer was honored with his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Randy Travis’ stroke nearly took his life. However, the country music superstar did not let it get him down. Mary said her husband still struggles, but he remains focused on his continuing recovery.

[Featured Image by John Davisson/Invision/AP Images]